Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Simplicity


The word simplicity is such a beautiful description regarding anything if you really think about it. Simplicity doesn't mean "easy" or implies that everything is just free-flowing goodness. Simplicity is when you don't need much in order to gain happiness and understanding. It's being grateful or what you have, not always grumbling for what you don't have. Simplicity means "just right" -- to be satisfied with all things that are good in your life. People seem to think you need to own a mansion and a yacht in order to obtain happiness. Take a peek into their lives and walk right into those closed doors and tell me what you see. In many cases, happiness is only short-lived, until they need something new...something better...to fill the void...to fill the pain.

Life is so much more than living in society's standards. I've always been simplistic. My wardrobe is pretty much classic, and usually, I'm not very dressed up because I work from home. I have never needed anything fancy, nor did I want anything spectacular. I was and am happy with my lot in life, where I am, who I am with, and most of all, my relationship with God. To truly know if you're content with yourself and if you have faith in God is to give up all possessions. My cousins did that years ago. They got rid of their homes and all possessions and joined a community. The description of the community explains it like this: "The group follows three basic tenets: 'leave, enter, become.' Before becoming a member, applicants must quit their job and give up all possessions, including houses, cars, and any cash in the bank. After being stripped of earthly possessions, they enter into a sacred covenant, similar to marriage, dedicating their lives to the entire community. Only then can they become a new person. The men adopt a new name and modify their appearance to resemble the Messiah, Yashua, the Hebrew term for the Savior."

How many of you could say that you could do something like this? And as simplistic as I am, I'm not sure if I would be willing to do this. I do have faith in God, and in no way am I materialistic -- but this is the extreme measures some people take to live a life without the complications of the world. I admire my relatives for doing something so amazing. I mean, some would call this a "cult" but more so, it's just a community of slipping out of today's society and living a life of....simplicity.

One day I had a friend ask me if I wanted more out of my life. She was under the impression that my life may have been too boring, because I work from home, cook at home, but the one thing is, I enjoy my home. "Well, maybe you should get out more," she said. But the thing is, I cook better, make better drinks, have a yard the size of a park with a beautiful view, and I'm quite content with the work I do. If I do go out, I either go out for dinner with my wife or to a friend's or relative's house to hang out. My kind of outing would be just going to the park to walk my dog or perhaps, buying some groceries so I can cook for the family. I don't have to be in a bar every weekend to prove that "I'm living a good life" -- in fact -- it's the total opposite in my opinion. If you're living in a bar, you have to ask yourself, why. I lived that life once, and it was a very lonely place, even if there were tons of people around me.  My favorite kind of evening is when I cook a nice dinner for my wife and we act silly and laugh for the rest of the evening. I'm so glad I picked my best friend as my long time companion.

My office.
To be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn't want to live anyone else's life but mine. I don't want the hassle of having children, making sure their schools are safe or going crazy because I can't even slip away for two seconds without hearing, "Ma, ma, ma, mommy, mommy, mommy, mama, mama, mama." No. It's just not for me. I want to be able to enjoy my work, to enjoy my life with my family and to have a quality of life, not a quantity of "things" in life. I used to think I needed to have all of these things in life, until one day I reached my limit at work and passed out right on the desk in my office. I was carried out by the ambulance for stress related chest pains. I was saving up for all the "nice things" that society deemed important. But honestly, that never mattered to me. What mattered to me more were people judging me due to their version of "lack" in my life.

When you care about what other people think of you, your life is totally ruined. And what I mean by that is, your primary focus is not only satisfying your life goals and obtainment of things and materialistic possessions, but it's for satisfying the judgment of people. When you live for others, you never live for yourself. You're never truly happy because it'll never be "good enough" for them. And that's just a sad fact of life.

And whether or not you have kids, isn't it a shame that some people need to compete with their own child? "Oh my child made it into the honor roll and applying for Harvard." Doesn't that get old? I see it all the time on Facebook with parents trying to 'one up' the other parents on their kids' achievements. It's almost as if they're bragging because they have no life of their own. They start living vicariously through the eyes of their children. Many parents go through this and it's actually quite normal. But some go through an obsessive phase where it can get a little nutty.

So, I'm just 'here' minding my own business and enjoying what I do for a living. What people may say about me or what they feel I "should" do in life is actually none of my business. If they feel like taking time out of their day to focus on my business, then let them waste time. Time is precious and every second should be enjoyed on the present moment. Many can say that they practice that, but I have yet to see someone who truly lives by this.

I once met up with an old friend for dinner and drinks nearby to catch up. Her husband agreed to watch their three younger kids at home so she could have a "girl's night out" and catch her breath so to speak. I'll never forget what she said to me sipping on her second martini. She looked at me and said, "Deb, you're going to think I'm a horrible person, but I know you'll understand..." I was kind of nervous about what she was about to tell me. She said, "I totally wish I didn't have my kids. It's not like I don't love them! I do!!! It's just that I miss my old life when it was just me and my husband. I never have time to myself and I can't take all of the screaming, fighting and midnight hospital visits because one of them came down with whatever bug was spreading around in the schools. I'm so tired! I want my old life back!"


I was in shock because she looked so happy! I didn't know what to say to her. And then she looked at me and said, "I envy you for your choices," and then laughed and said in jest, "I should've went for a woman!" We both chuckled and we left it at that. I reassured her that God blessed her with her beautiful children. She was just overwhelmed, as any mother would be. Sometimes, somebody else's life may seem like the perfect life, when it's actually the total opposite. We all have struggles, whether it seems like we're doing too much or maybe too little -- we are all living beings trying to do our best with what we have.

A second occurrence of someone opening up to me was very sad. I will never say names, but a very close person in my life --- her husband called me crying. He said he couldn't take it anymore. He didn't have time to himself. Again, stated that he loved his family but wished he had his life back. I suggested he go and get a massage or just sit in the tub with some calming music, but he said it was impossible. He said he felt like he was going to have a heart attack -- that's how stressed out he was.

And a few months later, he had a heart attack.

We choose our own paths in life, and sometimes, we end up with a situation (a life choice) that we sometimes regret. There seems to be a stigma with living an "unconventional life." When your entire focus is on work work work, kids kids kids, tasks tasks tasks, then when do you have time to communicate with God? When do you have time to meditate and just BREATHE? There is a level of idolization {putting things before God} when it comes to putting too much on your plate to get from point A. to point B. When you give up God to get to your point B., you're also possibly choosing a way of life that isn't in God's will. Even if your marriage and family is blessed by God, your actions and 'going ons', especially your heart may not be in the right place. The people you've judged for either being gay, divorced, childless, or living a 'mediocre' life may have the better path to not only overall wellness, but eternal wellness.

There's another level of judgment that seems to get mixed up with "righteous judgement" -- and that's when those who think they're "better equipped" spiritually than you. They tear people apart because they don't approve of the way somebody else is living. This is a very dangerous territory, because most of the time, these people are just seething with anger, jealousy and/or resentment for whatever is brewing (or not brewing) in their own lives. When somebody gives you their undivided attention with ill will, this is not "righteous judgment" -- this is just an evil natured person who wants you to suffer in some way. Even if you say, "Oh they're going to find themselves in ruins soon," -- that only implies that it's your wish for them to fail or to be in "ruins." That is not God-like at all! Wishing bad karma on other people comes back to haunt you tenfold. It's a law. Jesus never tore down people who He thought were making poor choices. He spent time with them and lifted up their spirits. He didn't wish ill will on them, nor did he call them hurtful things. If you're being bullied by a 'so-called-Christian' -- this is not a Christian at all. It's a devil's spawn. It's pure evil. Protect yourself from them, because it's usually from someone who is not mentally well. Mental illness used to be confused with spiritual possession -- still is to this day. There's a fine line when it comes to dealing with someone with crazy manic episodes, and those who are demonically possessed. They actually believe they're doing the right thing, when actually, they have no clue they're wishing harm on another person's life.

But I digress... "Simplicity."  The meaning itself invokes a feeling of a lack of complications with anything in life. It doesn't mean to just quit and to not deal with problems and issues, but not to participate in the drama of unnecessary anger, resentment, unforgiveness, or hatred.

So don't worry about what I'm doing. Worry about why you're worried about what I'm doing.

And that's all you need to say. Nothing more, nothing less. Simplicity.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!