simplify

Spiritual Journey framed

This week’s focus word comes compliments of Linda. Please join us; please share your reflection. Thank you!

 

I should have known that overcoming overthinking, overdoing, over-collecting would be a lifelong spiritual journey struggle–the seeds, the symptoms were clearly visible.. Perhaps the most salient metaphor:

Freshman algebra: I failed the first test because I neglected to simplify.

I knew I was “supposed” to simplify, but I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it. Reducing, minimizing, lessening. No. The answers were correct, full, in tact just they way they were.

My teacher didn’t agree. Forty was my reward (or penalty). …She did commiserate. I learned my lesson in algebra…but somehow it never transferred to “real life.”

(That always is the teenage objection , isn’t it–that school–e.g. that algebra– isn’t relevant to real life. Here was a case in point wherein it was totally relevant, I’m the one who failed to apply the lesson.)

One of the reasons I like Twitter is that it forces me to simplify messages. I like the challenge, but still, given my druthers, I’m afraid I prefer to prattle on, even in prayer, in total disregard of the Lord’s advice.

Speaking of the Lord’s advice, too, to travel light, when I think of various religious communities which restrict their members to having just one bag of personal possessions to take with them on a transfer, I feel frightened at the specter of being so limited in possessions (especially books), but then I realize that there is something liberating about traveling light, a metaphor so often used for leaving the past behind. It’s liberating to be healthily (holy) detached!

The older I get, the more mindful I am of the necessity of simplifying my material possessions. Having witnessed both my parents, who died at home, being taken to the funeral homes devoid of any possessions except the clothes they were wearing at the time of their deaths, I am convinced that simplifying is a grace and a responsibility.

Inasmuch as today is St. Patrick’s Day, I think about the way he and other missionaries down to today found ways to simplify the Faith, as they introduced it, connecting it to the listeners’ culture and familiar ways–ergo the shamrock/Blessed Trinity lesson. (Simple isn’t necessarily simplistic.)

First the joy of St. Patrick’s Day, and then the poignancy of Holy Week. As we approach the Good Friday, there is a clarion call, I think, to recognize the meaning of life, simplifying it to  make it worthy of the One Who suffered and died for us to fully live.

Meanwhile, on this day that celebrates the wearing of the green, I think I’ll honor green: recycle, reduce, reuse, and simplify my life–at least a few of my material possessions–at least a bit, in honor of my Irish heritage.

What about you? God bless you! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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12 Responses to simplify

  1. Donna Smith says:

    You’ve connected “simplify” so many ways… even to being “green”!
    I love that “simplify isn’t necessarily simplistic”.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Uh-oh! Thanks for pointing it out: connecting it in so many ways. I’ve proven my point… I’ve done it again…couldn’t even write about simplify simply. Back to the drawing board! God bless you, and thank you for reading and sharing your insights!

      Like

      • cvarsalona says:

        I’m with Donna on this. Bobbie, I also like the way your connected your thoughts from college years to the present with St. Patrick’s Day, the Trinity, and the go green movement. Great mantra for today: recycle, reduce, reuse, and simplify my life!

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      • bobbietaylor says:

        Thank you! …(the algebra actually was freshman year h.s.)…my simplification aversion goes way back….Thanks for the encouragement to change! God bless you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hollymueller says:

    I agree with Donna that you’ve made so many great connections with how SIMPLIFY is relevant! And that’s a good thing. Thank you for reminding us that next week is Holy Week already!

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank YOU for taking time to read and to affirm. I am very grateful for your gathering us for SJT each week. God bless you!

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  3. Well said, Bobbie! My experience with learning from the last days of parents is the same as yours. In fact, when dealing with my Mom’s stuff, I came to see firsthand what might be the future for. Might as well deal with it ourselves than burden our kids, who have their own spaces that need simplifying. I love how you connected simplifying to so many things. (With such a rich thinking process going on, no wonder you find it hard to simplify… and it would be a shame to, in this case.)

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you so much for shedding a positive light on my thinking process vis a vis my difficulty simplifying things. Maybe someday I’ll learn to cut to the chase:) God bless you, and thank you again for your kind words…In terms of our shared parental death experiences, I feel the same sense of needing to “step up” to dealing with my own stuff. As I write this, I’m reminded of the words from “Everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten”: clean up your own messes! ….God bless you! …Thank you!

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  4. ldk says:

    Bobbi, I enjoyed reading all the ways you connected to “simplify.” Your words gave me a lot to think about. It’s true for me too, that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt the need to simplify my possessions, but also my commitments. Most of my life has been doing, doing, doing…but many times it’s been because I feel obligated to do so. Now, in my sixties, I’m learning that choosing to do the things I really care about (when I can) is more important than trying to do it all.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      Amen! Thank YOU for the reminder to include simplifying commitments, along with possessions. Yes! selective doing; I love it! Thank you for taking time to read and to share your insights. God bless you for your generosity.

      Like

  5. MaryHill says:

    I worked on reducing today and have gathered up some clothes to take to our local thrift charity. Great reminder of how to help others when we simplify.

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    • bobbietaylor says:

      🙂 Thank you so much for reading and sharing/affirming. It is always a great blessing when you add your perspectives and experiences. God bless you! Thank you!

      Like

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