I recently had a wake-up call, or maybe some would call it a revelation. Whatever one would call it, it was the answer to a problem that I have been looking for. For many years now I have been relentlessly searching for the lack of peace in my life that I knew existed. Not that I have not lived a somewhat peaceful life, but there has been something or something’s keeping me from experiencing a deeper or more fuller level of joy that I was missing. A freedom that was available to me and all of us but I could not seem to attain it. It was very frustrating, to say the least. Many people, maybe even you are looking for the same thing and can’t quite put your finger on what is keeping you from this freedom of joy, and satisfying peace. It is so exciting that I want to share what I have discovered with everyone I see.
Let me begin by just saying that I am a healthy man, with a pretty decent career. I am blessed with an amazing wife, two smart and healthy children. I live in the greatest country on earth. I have been to war and came home safe twice. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and He blesses me more than I can describe. I have a nice home and live pretty comfortable. I have a hand full of good friends and my parents are still alive and in good health. Okay, now you can see that I should have no reason not to be happy. That is right, I should be, but for many years I wasn’t and couldn’t figure out why.
In the back of my mind, I believed that I was feeling this discontentment in life because I wasn’t fulfilling a purpose or a dream that I have had since I was a kid. I won’t go into that because it is irrelevant to this particular story and I don’t want you or I to get distracted. Anyways, that was not it and boy am I glad.
So what is this nasty animal that was eating away at me and stealing my joy?
What I have found to be the answer to my problem is something called minimalism or you could call it a deeper form of simplicity. In other words, I had been depending on stuff to satisfy my discontentment in life but that stuff was what was causing so much stress and discontentment in my life. This stuff is what was keeping me from truly experiencing and enjoying life. All of my stuff kept me so busy maintaining, cleaning, doing, organizing, keeping up with and distracted from living in the moment that I never had time to stop and smell the roses or to enjoy living.
I had and still have an addiction to buying new things. The problem with this is that the feeling of happiness that you get when you get something new only lasts for a short while then it goes away, therefore, cycling me back to the feeling of emptiness again and so I would go out and get another thing to satisfy my discontentment. This is a vicious cycle that never ended.
The technological world in which we live in today is constantly advertising things that we supposedly need in order to make our lives easier but it actually does the opposite. The more stuff we attain the more complicated our lives get. Not to mention that is probably cost us more money than currently have and it will only be relevant until it is outdated by the next thing that we are presented to buy. We feel the need to keep up with what everyone else is getting or doing because that’s what they are advertising on T.V., the internet, and everywhere else we look. Companies have gotten so good at advertising their products that we think that we actually need all this stuff in order to live. When the opposite is the truth. This stuff could be what is keeping us from truly living and experiencing this amazing life that we have.
I have found that the less stuff I have to worry about the more time I have to actually enjoy living in the moment. Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t have any stuff at all. I am just saying that most of Americans have way, way, way, too much stuff. And all this stuff could be what is causing so much discontentment, lack of peace, unhappiness, anxiety, depression, confusion, lack of purpose, health problems and the inability to live in the moment.
I began learning about myself and my problem while reading a book called, Essentialism. This book bascially teaches to do less things but do them better. In other words, ask your self is it essential that I have this or do this. If it is not essential then we have to learn to say no to the things that try to pull us away from what is important and only say yes to the things that are important. Asking this question about everything that I did changed my world! It taught me about the things I actually value and about the things in my life that I no longer needed. This led me to thinking about a word called minimalism. As I began researching this word and reading about it I quickly realized that I was not the only one that had stuff controlling my life.
If you can relate I encourage to take a journey with me in minimizing your stuff, your schedule, and even the people in your life. Start experiencing more peace, joy, freedom and life.
Have a blessed day!