Do Not Complicate Your Life

“All the wonderful things in life are so simple that one is not aware of their wonder until they are beyond touch.” – Frances Gunther … 

The first thing that comes to mind after reading Frances’s words are lyrics from the song Big Yellow Taxi, “Don’t it always seem to go. That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone.” So often in life we overlook the simple things in life–the apple pie, the smile of a friend, the time at the lake on a hot summer day, the simple dinner. Instead we focus on the more complicated, be it a meal, vacation, or plan… and in doing so, many other things in our lives get complicated as well, and the end result is seldom good–our stress goes up, our happiness in life falters, and our soul seems to become tired and burdened. <!–more–> 

The people and groups who are trying to complicate our lives are the ones who need us to further their agendas. Lawyers make a lot of money from divorce and child custody cases due to our propensity not to try to work through the complicated problems in our relationships. On the other hand, psychologists and psychiatrists make a lot because of our tendency to try to work through complicated problems and relationships rather than letting them go and finding more simple ones to deal with. However, as most reasonable individuals would agree, the best solution is usually going to be the simplest one.

Why, then, do we view simple as something that is somehow less worthy and often ignore it? Why do we allow so many simple things slip out of our fingers and instead bring so much complexity into our lives? Why do we convince ourselves that it is necessary to spend more money on a car that is the higher end model when a much cheaper one would suffice, not to mention how much less stressful our lives would be with a smaller monthly loan payment?

Simplicity not only makes things easier, but it also creates the potential to add a beautiful and healthy perspective to our lives. When we are able to remain focused on the simple, our awareness of just how truly wonderful those things are, is heightened like a “sixth sense.” Rainy, snowy, or sunny days, vanilla ice cream in a cone, friends who do not make complicated demands, the smell of coffee brewing on a quiet Saturday morning, a cold glass of milk, a dress-down day at work or school, good books–there are so many simple things that we lost sight of as being wonderful in our quest to complicate our lives that it is quite a shame. The Spanish have a wonderful saying: “No me compliques la vida,” which means, “Do not complicate my life.” They know that the simple always will be good, if we just see it and appreciate it for what it is.

Discover something wonderful about a simple element of your life.

Questions to consider:

Who teaches us that complicated is better? If no one actually teaches us that, how do we learn it?

What are some simple things in your life right now that also are beautiful?

What kinds of complicated things or situations can you do without in your life right now? How can you shed those things successfully?

For further thought:

“Do you know the more I look into life, the more things it seems to me I can successfully lack–and continue to grow happier. How many kinds of food I do not need, or cooks to cook them, how much curious clothing or tailors to make it, how many books I have never read, and pictures that are not worthwhile! The farther I run, the more I feel like casting aside all such impediments–lest I fail to arrive at the far goal of my endeavor.” – David Grayson

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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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