In our society, achievement is a word that seems synonymous with the attainment of a lofty goal. How often do we equate the word achievement with behaviors such as working harder, moving faster, or doing more? To be in pursuit of a goal, or to create the necessary progress needed to advance our ambitions, it usually requires something additional. Or does it?
Let’s face it: the more we do, the more we seem to be rewarded. We tend to look at the person who appears to have mastered everything but speaking Chinese fluently through the lens that he or she has something that “I don’t have.” Never mind that under the surface the pressure of obtaining those lofty goals has created an exhausting need to achieve even more, which has left us stressed and overbooked. And thus, time and again, it would seem that the act of “doing it all” is often yielded as an achievement no matter how frazzled we may become in the process.
When our friend reports that she is learning to knit, has started a cooking class, and is running two miles a day, we typically think that she’s on the ball or is accomplishing a lot. Whereas, when you announce that you stopped your daughter’s ballet classes because they were just too much, are you received with the same enthusiasm?
Or, when you report that you are not doing choir, you will not be bringing homemade cookies to the bake sale, and you are taking a personal day to do something for yourself, do you feel that you are congratulated for all that you are achieving? What about when you share that your family has cut your possessions in half just to get rid of the excess and create greater peace of mind?
Let’s be honest here. It’s time to honor the achievement of letting go.
It’s time to acknowledge anyone who has ever said “no” to bringing three dozen homemade cookies to the bake sale, because she knows that grocery store cupcakes will do and family time is more important.
If you’re cleaning out a closet or throwing out, or donating and recycling, this is for you.
If you’ve ever said “no” to choir or one more summer camp that you knew was too much, job well done.
If you’re opening up space in your life to allow for more stillness, we’re applauding you.
If you will not commit to learning one more thing right now that you do not have time for, we’re cheering on your ability to set boundaries.
If you are being forced to let go of relationships that bring you down, this is for you, too- because that’s hard and deserves to be honored.
Today, let’s celebrate your accomplishments!
Truthfully, living simply and purposefully- especially in a consumer driven society that bombards us with messages to do or buy more- is quite an achievement!
What if we viewed the art of letting go through the same lens as we viewed adding or mastering more? After all, is it not harder to say “no” anyways? What if reducing, letting go, cutting out, subtracting, and doing less were all seen as great achievements? Would we not be more peaceful and balanced?
Truth be told, it is not the addition of things will ever make us feel fulfilled to begin with. Only when we reduce or hack away at the inessentials, will we ever discover what is truly of value in this world- and that is an achievement worth celebrating!
What you let go of is just as important, and perhaps even more important, than what you decide to take on.
Today, I am celebrating you just as you are. I am cheering you on as you say “no” and cut out the excess. I honor the achievements you are making to let go.
As you allow space for all that you value most in life, you will begin the path to greater fulfillment. I am wishing that for you- a life that is full of purpose and time for what is most important.