An excerpt from "Everything That Remains" by Joshua Millburn
"We hold onto stuff we don't need, just in case we might need it down the road in some nonexistent, more secure future. If such accoutrements are flooding our lives with discontent, they are not secure. In fact, the opposite is true. Discontent is uncertainty. And uncertainty is insecurity. Hence, if you are not happy with your situation, no matter how comfortable it is, you won't ever feel secure.
For a dozen years, I've blindly embraced the ostensible security of my prestigious career and all the cold trappings of our entropic consume culture. The super-sized house. The steady paycheck. The pacifying material possessions. I’ve purchased all the purchases, accumulated all the accumulations, and achieved all the achievements that were supposed to make me feel secure.
So why didn't I experienced real security? Why was I glazed with discontent and stress and depression? Because I had more to lose. I constructed well-decorated walls that I was terrified to tear down, becoming a prisoner of my own consumption. My lifestyle, equipped with a laundry list of unquestioned desires, anchored me to my self-built burdens. I thought I knew what I wanted, but I didn't know what I wanted why I wanted it.
It turned out that my paychecks made me feel less secure, afraid I'd be deprived of the income I grown accustomed to and the lifestyle I blindly coveted. And my material possessions exposed countless twinges of insecurity, leaving me frightened that I'd suffer loss of personal property or that someone would take it from me. So I clutched tighter onto those security blankets. But it's not the security blanket that ensures a person security. People latch onto security blankets because there's a deeper fear lingering at the ragged edges of a discontented reality; there's something else we're afraid of. The fear of loss. We're afraid of losing love or respect or comfort.
It's this fear that keeps us tied to mediocrity. We’re willing to sacrifice growth and purpose and meaning in our lives, just to hold on to our pacifiers, all the while searching all the wrong places for security, misguidedly programming ourselves to believe there's a strange kind of certainty within uncertainty.
But the more we amass--the more we need our stockpile--the more uncertain we feel. Needing more will always lead to a pall of uncertainty and insecurity. Life isn't meant to be completely safe. Real security, however, is found inside us, in consistent personal growth, not in a reliance on growing external factors. Once we extinguish our outside requirements for the things that won't ever make us truly secure--a fat paycheck, an ephemeral sexual relationship, a shiny new widget--we can shepherd our focus toward what's going on inside us, no longer worshiping the things around us."
- Joshua Millburn, Everything That Remains.
Offload Labs, LLC. All rights reserved. 2014