I've been spending time reading a wonderful book called Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver. I'm actually re-reading it having read it a few years ago. When I read it the first time, it helped me purge clean my house before my husband and I downsized and moved to the beach as Empty Nesters.
Reading it now is bringing about a whole new level of wanting to live a simpler daily existence. Maybe it's because I'm a few years older, maybe it's because I am in a completely new season of life and maybe it's because I have spent time deep diving into my anxiety issues and seeing how "stuff" has only added to my angst.
As much as I am seeing the clutter around me that has added to my anxiety, I am also recognizing how often I try to "add" things to my life because I think it will enhance the person I feel I need to be rather than embracing WHO I AM.
For example, I was sipping coffee and watching Home Town on Saturday morning. I was also reading favorite blogs. I noticed apps on my phone that I had added to "help" me enhance this Lara I imagine I need to be.
I am now a Chaplain. I read my Bible. I pray. I study. But I had added two apps to "help" me listen and read scripture MORE. As I looked at the apps again Saturday morning, I was reminded of something I already know about myself which is I don't listen, I read. I am not an audiobook person and I only have 2 podcasts I listen to and one of the main reasons is that they are never more than 15 minutes long. For some reason I can sit still for an hour to read something but not more than 15 minutes to listen. (And yes, I've tried listening while driving or doing other things but I end up driving or doing those things and zone out so I don't listen.)
This embracing of who I am (a reader type) and letting go who I am not (a listener type) is freeing. Quite frankly, all of this reminds me of something vitally important that I forget all too often…
I AM ENOUGH
How I read or study scripture is ENOUGH
How I prefer to read over listening is ENOUGH
I don’t need to add MORE to make anything better.
I have all I need.
I AM ENOUGH
It's mental clutter I am learning about this time around as I embrace and glean wisdom about Soulful Simplicity.
I am learning that living simply isn't so much about having less, but rather seeing what I have or who I am is enough.
And it's not just about stuff in my house - physical items. I have always had a mentality that having choices is best. I am learning how false that notion really is. I am becoming aware of how many streaming services I have. Do I need them ALL? Yes, some were acquired during 2020 when watching shows was a part of survival. But how many of them do I really, truly use? And I didn't realize until recently how just knowing they are there is stressful. They are there so I have to use them right? One more thing to do. One more thing to choose from. It's not all that different from the apps either.
So I am trying to pay attention to what I honestly use and what I don't. Or rather, I'm asking myself the question, "Do I have this because I really want this or do I have this because it fits into the category of me trying to be a different version of myself?" If I really want it and use it - including non-tangible items like apps or streaming services - then it stays. If not, it goes.
And it is so awesome how freeing it is to let go.
I have just begun to de-clutter my mental life and it is amazing how free I am feeling already. I was worried about letting go. And on some levels I still am. I appreciate that Courtney says in Soulful Simplicity that it's a marathon and not a sprint. We don't just purge clean our homes and all the emotional "stuff" that led to having more than we need just disappears. It's a process and a journey. And we all live it and walk it in our own ways.
I'm just grateful that my journey has less...less to worry about, less to take care of, and less of stuff I simply don't need.
I have all I need
I am enough