About two years ago, I made the resolve to declutter my life.
Over the course of these two years, I managed to progressively let go of a lot of non-material (won’t be discussing this in this entry) and material possessions – especially those of historical and sentimental value. Yet, I kept falling back to my old habits too. Each shelf or wardrobe space that becomes available will soon be occupied by new books or clothes – manifestations of the materialistic indulgence I tend to concede to without much fight.
I’m ashamed to admit this but the resolve to declutter remains an ongoing challenge even till today and it represents the ongoing tussle between success and failure in overcoming one of the vices in my life.
In recent times as I slowly made mental checklists of the items I would need to bring with me insyaAllah, I also found myself grappling with the following morbid (yet not entirely impossible) thought:
“If I were to pass away now, just how will the family clear all of my belongings in this room?”
(I’d also like to admit at this point in time that the thought of the people at work clearing my workstation if I were to die while I’m still employed in the workplace is one of the factors that drives me to keep my table clutter-free. Anything can happen in the world but I truly pray that this thing is not one of them, insyaAllah amin.)
This sparked off a series of introspection within me and one of them revolves around the fact that I’m spending on things I do not need.
Beyond the issues related to materialism and consumerism aside, I found it unsettling that I’m preoccupied with spending. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I sometimes feel unfulfilled inside – it’s because I’m feeding my nafs as opposed to my soul. Despite the gratitude I feel towards the Lord for allowing me the means to purchase the items, I do acknowledge that the joy I experienced when I received a parcel for an item I bought online or offline is fleeting at best.
It seems like decluttering might not be the solution anymore and that perhaps after I’ve cleared a portion of my material possessions back then, it had ceased to be the issue even.
Rather, it is now the battle against the nafs and the answers to the following question:
“What are the things that are essential to my life whose importance I placed on it will concurrently nourish my soul and bring me closer to Him?”