Gratitude Day 595
Luke 12:34 – (Jesus said,) “Where you deposit your treasure, that is where you fix your thoughts—and your heart will long to be there also.”
There’s a concept that I’ve been thinking about since the first of the year: minimalism. Minimalism looks at the idea of having enough and having too much. It’s evaluating how much stuff is necessary, yearning for a simpler lifestyle. Folks involved in minimalism are clear to say that becoming a minimalist is a journey; one that you might not fully realize.
One of the challenges if minimalism is input. Most people bring more things into their lives and homes than what is removed. When the input is higher than the output, then clutter and distraction become a challenge. Christmas, birthdays, celebrations, seasonal items and other things encourage more input than output.
Our lives are filled with input, input, input. More stuff. More things. More options. It can all be terribly overwhelming when we begin to realize just how much stuff we have. Just ask anyone who has cleaned out a parent’s home or apartment. Think about the last time you moved and how much stuff you had. Take a mental walk through your home. Does your home have space or a lot of stuff?
The reality is our souls can be just as overloaded as our homes. Think of the amount of information and decisions you will be exposed to today. This week. Throughout the next month. Stuff and stuff and stuff. Yes, some of this information is necessary. But we can stuff our minds and souls with a lot of stuff. Some good stuff. Some not-so-good stuff. Some helpful stuff. A bunch of distracting stuff.
All this accumulation begs the question: With all of the input coming into our souls, how much output do we have? Where and how and when do we reduce what we carry around inside of our souls?
I like how this person describes our challenge:
“If your life is a constant blur of activity, focus, and obligation, you are likely to miss critical breakthroughs because you won’t have the benefit of pacing and negative space. What’s not there will impact your life as much or more than what is.”
Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative
I find myself yearning for less in my house and less distractions in my mind. Quieting both is not always easy. As I try to eliminate some possessions, I also see the necessity of trying to declutter my soul as well. How might I begin to do this?
- Being willing to sit in silence and not worry whether I hear something or not.
- Permission to let myself be who I am, warts and all.
- Release myself of having to try and be perfect.
- Allowing myself to love someone just as they are without bringing along an agenda full of baggage.
- Being comfortable with not having to know everything that maybe important to me.
- Practice living in the moment rather than putting all of my energy into past regrets or future fears.
There are limits of simplicity as well. We can call it simplicity when what we’re really implementing is order and control. While simplicity sounds good, we must also realize that we’re complex individuals who live in a ridiculously complex world. Unless we choose to live on an island of ourselves, it is impossible to reduce life to complete simplicity. How I view simplicity may not be how you would describe it, and this is OK.
Trying to wrap our heads around soul minimalism may not be something that can happen quickly. Rather than becoming overwhelmed with fully understanding and coming to grips with this, let’s keep it simple. Where is one way or place that you have a lot of input into your life? Choose an input that sometimes creates angst because it can become too much. Now, how might you simply begin to consume less of this in your life? Keep this easy. Simple. Very practical. Give yourself a low expectation.
As I have tried to move towards simplicity, I realize that for myself, I can only do this a little at a time. Some days, I have more capacity to do this. Other days, I lack the wherewithal to commit the energy. Rather than expecting to do something every single day, be more gracious with yourself. Tiny regular steps are probably a lot more effective than trying to do a complete overhaul that feels demanding and almost impossible. I think your soul will be more content when you see this as part of a life-long journey towards trying to even out the amount on inputs in comparison to the amount of output in your life.
When we begin to minimalize what our souls hear and see, then we find just a bit more space to simply be. Be with God. Be with ourselves. Be in touch with what is most important to us. And this, my friends, is where we can find less clutter, distractions and busyness in our lives.
For the opportunity to contemplate what soul minimalism means, I am grateful.
Holy God – the number of voices and information in our lives is overwhelming at times. We find so much demanding for our time and attention that sometimes, we’re not sure how to quiet the voices. Help me determine one small way that I can have less input into my life so that my soul can have more moments to simply be. Amen.
Stop by diannedeatonvielhuber on Instagram today for a few more thoughts about today’s Lenten topic.
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