Nurturing and environment for simplicity and intimacy in the home is not the prerogative of only those who ‘have it all together.’ These two areas of life can be cultivated at any time, and any place by any person. The fact that anybody can do it, doesn’t mean that it is going to happen casually or indifferently. Attention and intention must be given and practiced from a life that is immersed in a desire to simply know and be known… and to allow others the ability to do the same.
Too often, the things that we give the most attention to are the ‘big moments’ of life… the birth of a new child, the first day of school, the big holidays, and the sort. Consider the Christmas season, where so much attention is given to providing the biggest and best gifts available. So often, Christmas provides a great example of parents, who are otherwise disconnected from their children most of the rest of the year, who will overcompensate (and over spend) what is necessary to give gifts that aren’t really needed.
One recently holiday, money was tight… and so Christmas gifts were going to be scaled back. As people who appreciate witnessing the magic in a child’s eyes at a tree covered with presents, there was a desire to provide that moment for the little ones. However, when it came to gift selection in an environment where simplicity was the new standard, we were given the opportunity to really consider who our children were… and what gift would actually nurture their being… not just make the greatest trophy to talk about. This meant that not everyone had the same amount of money spent on them. What it did mean is that the gift fit who the child was.
If we learn to give the same discerning attentiveness to the day to day commonplaces in our lives as we do the big events, we will discover the ability to pay attention to areas within each of us that otherwise would get no notice. This is important because, when these crucial areas are not given proper attention, the void that is created is bound to be filled with things… and stuff… and junk that is not needed.
When a persons nature and purpose, in the small areas, is not nurtured… life is filled with things that serve a function. As this disease of the soul is given time to grow… every area of life becomes a thing with a function. This is a disease that desires more of what caused the sickness in the first place… more things… serving more functions…
Technology becomes a thing with a function to fill the void.
Purchases become things with a function to fill the void.
Food becomes a thing with a function to fill the void.
Relationships become things with a function to fill the void.
Without even knowing, we find ourselves desiring more and more of what is making us sicker and sicker. Always looking for the next thing to fill the void… and in the process lose our humanity… and the humanity of others. When this sickness reaches a place where it becomes natural and normal… it is like an addiction… to more… and more… and more.
It’s no wonder then, when you put in the effort to live with less… those you love will look at you with a glazed look in their eyes and say… ‘you are so simple, that you are complex.’
Truth is, you are attempting to break an addiction.