One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is delayed gratification and the simplicity process. Delayed gratification seems to be more and more of a struggle in our culture when everything is at our fingertips! As someone who is admittedly impatient, I struggle with wanting what I want…and now. Can you relate?
A phrase from my spiritual director is ringing through my head…”all good things take time.” We need to nurture the things we care about. What are some examples of good things that take time to come into fruition? I can think of a few…
· Love! Yes, love. You can have infatuation instantly, but love takes time. Love is a mixture of commitment, vulnerability, and authenticity. That takes time to develop to a deeper level.
· Blooming. It takes time for all things to bloom. Plants go through a time of blooming only after a harsh winter and an autumn period of dying off.
· Parenting. Every parent knows this takes a lot of time and patience. Sleepless nights and blowouts require patience and an ability to see the big picture in the day to day mundane tasks.
Ok, so we can that putting in work now is required for good things to enter our lives. How does this relate to the simplifying? Simplifying is about aligning how your life currently looks to a new vision that better matches your values.
Let’s go over some steps and why it takes time…
1. Simplicity is about knowing yourself. Some aspects of this process have become a fad. Fads die out because it’s just a fad, not an internal deep change. Simplicity comes from internal desires that you discover as you go deeper. This process takes time.
2.Simplicity can require a lot of change, which also takes time. For some, change is quick. But I think change that is from deeper parts of us takes time to put into action. For example, if you’re in a position of internal shifting relating to how you spend your time, you might decide putting in long hours while being away from your family is no longer in line with what’s most important to you. So, you make a plan to build up a nest egg and find a job that requires less hours, less travel, etc, to be with your family more.
3.Simplicity is not an end place of arrival…it’s a continued way of living. This seems like one of those trick questions. I can’t say “if you do this, then this, then this for 3 years, you will arrive at a simplified life.” It’s a way of living you adopt because of internal shifts. So, because it’s a new way of living in this world, that naturally takes time. If you’re someone (like me) that likes to know a game-plan and set time you will arrive at living a simplified life, check your mindset. You can have goals, such as a time you’d want to move to a place with lower cost of living, a timeframe you want to donate some clothing…but you won’t have a set time you arrive at living simply. Commit to the ongoing nature of self-reflection that is required to guide you to your next step in the process!
May we be patient and live with awareness as we continue our journeys to live a more simple and slow life! Happy rooting, everyone!