Simplifying the heart

All my life I have wanted a simple life.   Growing up I often got rid of a garbage bag filled with clothes to give away or things I didn’t think I would use.  I continued this even as I got older.  Writing this makes me think wow I must have a lot of excess if I can get rid of that much. 

As a teacher I purge documents each year.  I also try to get rid of books too, which is difficult.  I found praying before I started to simplify my belongings helped to rid myself of the attachment. 

Recently I got rid of movies I no longer needed.  The movies no longer were needed to fill the hole in my heart that was now filled.  I could give them to someone else to enjoy.  And that was the key to letting go.  Someone else could benefit.  When I had this mentality it was much easier. 

Now I feel I am at a place where I have simplified my belongings as much as I can at the present time. 

So my thoughts shifted to simplifying my thoughts and ideas.  I have way too many website links, which causes frustration when I try to find something.  I have too many documents on my computer and journals I likely no longer need.  So I simplified those as well. 

I don’t want more but I still feel attached to what I have.  I simplify because I feel like all the things in our house weigh on my heart.  I feel like we have an exorbitant amount of things when I look at our garage, and yet so much is frequently used: the snow blower, the bikes, the lawnmower, the tools, the garden supplies, and the grill. 

How much is too much?  Should we get rid of it?  Maybe the heart of the issues is my own guilt when so many have so little.  Why do I have so much?  I guess I don’t know how to deal with these feelings.  My first step would be to feel grateful and to use what we have.  My next step is to work on detachment from my belongings, knowing that everything we have is a blessing from God and that at any moment it could all be lost. 

I think one of the things I have learned is that you don’t have to deprive yourself if you have been blessed with an abundance, instead use your blessings to pay it forward and bless others.

May you find contentment in what you have.

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