At first I didn’t understand how my “stuff” was getting in the way of love. I didn’t see the connection, but my clutter, debt, and busyness was a big obstacle to living a life full of love.
When the stuff was gone, I had space to consider what I loved. When the debt was gone, I had more freedom to explore work I loved. When the busyness was gone, I had the honor of being present and showing all the way up for the people I love.
I still want things or think I need something new from time to time, but now that I clearly see how my stuff was standing in the way of love, new stuff isn’t as appealing. It’s easy to walk away. Understanding how damaging my stuff really was wasn’t an overnight revelation. It took me years to figure it out. If you are in the beginning stages of simplifying your life, or if you struggle when it comes to paring down, or saying no, consider this one question before your next purchase, or commitment …
Is this love?
Does this contribute to your life in a loving way, or support people you love, work you love, or something in your life you really care about? Does this thing help you live a life you love, or encourage you to be more loving? Ask yourself if you are adding this thing, event, or commitment because it adds value or because it distracts you from pain; the pain of boredom, frustration, or uncertainty. Is there a better way to ease the pain?
When I stopped shopping for every event and emotion, instead of stuffing my feelings, I listened to them. Instead of shopping away pain or worry, I felt it. I started to understand that those feelings were my heart’s way of saying, “hey, something isn’t right.” not “Let’s go buy things.”
Now, when I feel myself getting stressed, tired, sick, frustrated, or bored, I take better care of myself. I know it’s time to make a change, not time to go shopping. When I’m not feeling my best, I know my heart is saying, “Please take care of me.”
Keep coming back to the question. Is this love?
Choose love over stuff
If you worry that simplicity will be boring or empty, consider that what’s on the other side of your stuff is the life, work, and love you’ve been dreaming about. My home is simple, my wardrobe is neutral and my calendar is often empty but my life is full of color, adventure and love.
I will always choose love over stuff.