This year, we started the process of organizing and getting rid of a lot of "stuff" in our lives. The pact we made was that we wanted our world considerably smaller and simpler by the end of 2023 — three years. My husband has rounded 60 and I'm "getting there," and it just seems like the right time.
What I wanted to talk about today is the whole idea of "enough," along with knowing what "enough" looks like, along with taking a time-out to identify the "hidden burdens" in our lives.
I am in no way opposed to the idea of having "things," so this is not an anti-materialistic rant!
However, one of the issues that often troubles my counseling clients is the pervasive feeling of carrying too much of a burden," in their lives.
We don't often think of our physical possessions as being psychological burdens, as well. However, it often holds true that those who go through a major "physical" cleanup and simplification of their lives experience a marked improvement in their mental health, as well.
People end up feeling lighter when they have less "stuff" in their lives to worry about!
Some of this might sound a little strange to you if you live outside the USA — overconsumption has long been an issue in this country but it's only recently people have started connecting the "Acquisition Disease" to problems with their mental state, not just problems with their financial state.
One of the things we tend to fall prey to in a consumer economy is what I think of as "autopilot spending." We go out and acquire things "because," without really understanding that because or having a good reason for it. At best, we say something like "That's just what people DO!" without given much thought to whether it's even relevant to our lives.
Subscriptions and apps that "seemed cool, at the time," are one of the major culprits.
One client expressed anxiety over not having enough time to read the growing stack of magazines she was subscribed to. After a little investigation, it turned out that she rarely read the magazines any more, and she was mostly getting them "because she always had, for 15 years," and her subscriptions were set up to auto-renew.
Although the thought of canceling the subscriptions made her feel anxious, she agreed to do so. About eigh months later, she admitted that not only did she not miss the magazines, she felt better because the pressure to save them "to read later" had also lifted!
That's a very simple example, but we often have lots of "burdens" in our lives that weigh us down, even though nothing actually feels wrong.
The key to moving forward is to stop and examine what is enough for us, aside and apart from such ideas as "always having done" something. You might be surprised at what you learn!
Thanks for reading, and Bright Blessings to all!
You are not alone!
(Graphic is our own)
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