Finding the less in lesson
I’ve lived my life thus far on a pendulum swinging between varying extremes. Moving between opposing beliefs and opinions. Trying them on for size. Moving one way only to move back again. Never swinging far enough to one extreme to feel completely lost or aloof but far enough to know it wasn’t where I wanted to be. What I’ve ultimately learned as I’ve swung back and forth is that we’re bombarded by information that creates noise in our lives. Noise that blinds us from our genuine selves and our true needs. Having a chronic condition doesn’t leave much room for this noise. I’ve ultimately learned that freedom from this pendulum, from stress, excessive worry and concern are my ultimate goals.
So if that is the case, why do I repeatedly find myself overwhelmed and discontented. Is it only me? I think it can’t be.
How can we free ourselves from worry? How do we learn to embody a life that bestows us with fulfillment. For me it started with learning the lesson behind the proverb “less is more”.
Less doesn't always mean more, sometimes less just means less. But that less has the power to bestow a type of freedom. Freedom from worry and stress. Perhaps that is why the minimalist movement has taken hold in some places. Or why Tiny Houses are so appealing to some (article here and here). Or maybe its why some people always see the glass as half full, because it leaves room to grow and breathe.
What ever piece of magic “less” holds I am glad it has graced me with its presence in certain aspects of my life.
Here are some of the ways less has blessed me
A smaller home means less to take care of and clean
Less clothes makes it simpler to get dressed on a dragging morning
Less objects means a de-cluttered space (which helps me be calm)
Less commitments means more freedom for spontaneity (I’m working on this one)
Most beneficial from all of this less is that it has helped reduce my stress. Now, none of these lifestyle choices were easy when I made the commitment to them. But I have been thankful for the results. I think the idea of “less” will be different for each person but I hope that if you feel overwhelmed, tired of swinging on that pendulum that you try on some less of your own size and maybe, just maybe it will bless you with some fulfilling results.
It has been a while since I posted. In that time I’ve had adventures, seen amazing places and had time to ponder. I realized in my pondering that each and every one of us puts on regular performances. Whether it be to assimilate into a group, to inspire, to hide true feelings or to act in ways we perceive are socially acceptable, we are continually putting on the “theater of our lives”. Often times we put on this theater instead of being our authentic selves…if we even know what that is. Instead we “present” ourselves to the world around us whether it is beneficial to us or not. So how do we dig ourselves out of this “theater” and live our authentic selves. How do we reconcile the expectations we perceive and the truths we feel inside.
I go back to a post I made a while ago. We must be bold, take risks and speak our truths but we must also learn to meet others in the spaces of their true selves. Maybe then we can begin to live our authentic selves. Freeing our minds from the pressures of perceptions of what “we should be” and instead discover a more holistic and fulfilling existence. Did I get a bit existential for you? ;)
So here is part of my truth in a short poetic essay. I hope it inspires you to explore your own truths and discover your authentic self. To be bold and honest with whatever you find.
There are days I wake up and know in my bones that today is a day where my burdens will consume my thoughts. They will remind me of all of my faults, frustrate me by taunting me with limitations and physically drain me as a result of pain. I will feel like I am 100, although I am not yet 30.
I will wear a mask to hide the cracks in my facade. I will grit my teeth in the name of appearances because to show weakness is to fail.
Or so I have been lead to believe.
I will practice this theater, keeping the storm I manage below the surface. All will appear calm and quiet while on the inside I manage a riot.
Nerves signal their fury, causing aches and burns from my toes to my eyes.
I will want to cry.
And only in an empty dark room will I find the solace of tears.
The release in acknowledging I am being crushed from the inside.
Yet the hardest part of it all, isn’t the riot.
It’s maintaining the façade of quiet.
Who does it benefit? I question,
And am I ready to fight it.
Hi, I'm Liz. I like to write about life and the wisdom I cull from it. I use words and images to inspire empathy and connection with each other and the world.