Monday, June 11, 2012

Being grateful and letting go

Some days there is just a lot of time for me to think about things. Especially on days where I get up early and tidy the house, and read a bit. I have been thinking that we have so much here. In this house... we have A LOT of stuff. Some days it seems like an endless amount of stuff. Stuff no one even really uses, but everyone can not fathom giving away. And there is constant need for more, from all of us. Right now Cae wants to download yet another Minecraft map (not even sure what that is really, BUT I do know he has downloaded about 10 already, and it is never enough.) There seems to be this strange urge from my family to need more and more things. Is it because we are a large family? Is it because we have to share a lot? Is it just the age of the kids? I don't know. It feels like there is a complete lack of gratitude for what we do have and this constant drive to acquire more and more things, just to have them not to actually use them. And if at any point I go through stuff no one really wants to part with anything, because maybe they might need it at some point in their lives... maybe. We have folders and folders full of pieces of paper with just a line drawn on them, note book after note book with maybe two pages written or drawn on, BUT no one wants to use already used notebook OR no one wants to share that unused note book with anyone else. Let's not forget the toys and board games that no one plays with, yet no one can part with.

Some days it feels like too much. When there are so many with so little and my family seems to be in a constant state of acquiring and not giving, well it can be just overwhelming. I am not sure how to encourage this desire to give and let go and be grateful for all we have. I try to model it, but that doesn't seem to be enough. Last fall I read this wonderful piece in the fall 2011 issue of "World Ark" magazine. It was so inspiring to me, I could see us making this happen, I could see us really working together as a family and doing something like that, we could be more then we are. We could do more then we do... BUT sadly when I brought it up there was this wave of panic that hit the whole crowd. Was I serious? Give away that much money? Give away our stuff? To who? Why? What about us??? I have to admit I was pretty crestfallen. I had really hoped my family would be all over that. Would be tripping over themselves to help others and see how much we have and see how grateful we can all be. But alas, no. Here we are mid-2012 and still nothing. I have found a few charities that I like and donate a small amount to every month, but really over all... not a single other person in my house has reached out. Which I have to say is upsetting. What I need to figure out is how to motivate them all to want to give, to be open to letting our excess go and being grateful for all of our blessings. I feel like I am missing some sort of step, some sort of way to get this across to them, that we have sooo much to be grateful for and we have enough to give to others who need it way more then we do. 

Earlier today Fiona was pulling books off the bookshelf in my bedroom. I noticed an old three ring binder I kept articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts that I had printed out/ripped out of magazines in. While I was thumbing through it I ran across an old piece called "Penniless and Blessed". When I read it a few years ago it really spoke to me, because 1.) we were really struggling with money (and honestly we still are) and 2.) because it was a good way to live even if you had extra cash. And after re-reading it, well it still speaks to me. We can make a smaller impact on the earth, we can do more free and local things, we can grow more of our own stuff, we can use less, buy less, and need less. We can choose to live in gratitude every single day and honor all life and all people by being more aware of what we do, how much we use and how much we truly need. That binder holds a lot of good thinking stuff for me, maybe I need to pull it out and give it a good once over.
I am sort of all over the place today, that happens when I have time to think during the day, when I am not doggy paddling through the day just trying to keep my head above water. But you know, it isn't a bad thing. It isn't bad to realize we could do better, that we can grow and change and practice gratitude more fully. Being in this moment, releasing stuff (both physical stuff and mental stuff as well), changing, growing and being full aware of what is happening here... those are all things to be grateful for, 100% grateful for.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Thanks for that article - I loved it. The kids making one small mark on a page or not using paper that is bent or slightly altered in anyway has always tested me :)