A Healing Table: Simplicity and Limits

A real part of simplicity seems to be about getting more down to basics and more "hands on" and direct with things. This brings not only more frugality but more satisfaction and con-tent-ment, its such a core thing really. But some of us have some rather large challenges there, like having very real physical limits to our ability and strength and energy...and yet we still long to get more down to basics in ways we can. Myself i have a chronic nerve/spinal/arm injury, as well as environmental illness (also called chemical sensitivity, more specifically MCS). Others may have different limits. So for what its worth, thought i'd share what has helped me in this area. This started as a single post (another one of those "list of ten" simplicity posts), but got way too long. So i'm dividing it into a little ten part series, this post being part one. (The full series can be seen here)

1. Being Simple From the Beginning

Variety, we've all heared, is the spice of life. But this has to be taken in context. Last time i checked, it didnt feel like a grand idea to sit down to a plate of spice. A spice, instead is something used as an accent, not the foundation. And when living with pain and limits, i personally think the foundation should be....simple. Very very simple.

Our tendency today, when faced with a problem, is to focus on what to add to our life to help it (is there a pill we can take we ask , or an activity we can do, or a thing we can buy, dot dot dot?). And sometimes going that route can bring real blessings. But there isnt always a solution in that vein....modern medicine is only helpful for some conditions for example, and buying and doing also arent always a solution. What's more, we tend to forget that focusing on what to take away can help things just as much really, and is just as important.

Having less stuff is part of this, at least i have found this to be the case. Not only owning less items but also having less ingredients needed to cook with and stock up with and the like. This makes a true difference i have found in making things not only easier but more soothing and peaceful. Ditto for having less "stuff to do". Often when we have pain and limits, we sadly have to give up doing so many of the the things we really love and enjoy. So those few things we love that are still do-able are very important, and go on the "to do" list i think. Likewise, there are other things we also truly need to do, like things connnected with family and home and faith, and these sure go there too. But discernment is just so critical! When looking at something i try and ask myself if this is something i either truly love, or truly need, to do. Asking if we truly need to do something especially, it is surprising what can be left behind.

The key i think, is simply to never assume something (aside from Scripture, and our true duties) is simply a "'given" that we must do. We dont need for example, to do laundry everyday, either for ourselves or our families. Clothes can be hung up between wearings to air and be reworn till actually dirty, rather than mindlessly tossed in a pile making us run the laundry machine all the time.

There are many other examples like this, things that will be different for all of us. We each just really need to discern, especially when living with pain, what we truly love, and truly need to do. And that's a pretty important part of our foundation i think....

(Image from Home Arts Magazine, from here)

Blog Archive