Simplify...

In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity,

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

There once was a wise old man who spoke to me the same word over and over for what seemed like eternity... 3 years. Every time I would go to him for advice, he had one word for me. One word that I didn't want to hear.  One word that seemed so plain and boring with no adventure attached.  "Simplify", he would say.  "Simplify".  I would ask him, "how?"  He would just say, "simplify".  For those three years I would work on simplifying my life. I didn't have much to begin with monetarily speaking, so what was he talking about? Did I come off selfish and spoiled?  I pared down clothes, and gave things I did not need away.  I kept coming back and sharing what I had let go of, and yet he would not relent in saying to  me "simplify". I got discouraged at times, because I knew that there was so much more he could have said to me other than that one word.  I continued to simplify as long as he was telling me to.  I simplified food, and social friends, my extra curricular activities, and my love for things that later seemed futile.  I held onto that word, 'simplify', so tightly because I also knew there had to be a truth that I just couldn't see. It took me longer than three years to simplify like my old friend was talking about but looking back I was able to see that I had become someone different.  It wasn't that I was empty with nothing left, but rather all I kept was what was truly dear to my heart, the treasures of my soul, and things I needed.  And with these treasures that I kept, I was able to not only have more room to grow but I was able to use these treasures to become richer, deeper, fuller, in faith, in love, in friendship, in hospitality and giving, in laughter, in joy...and in adventure!

To simplify my life, comes not 3 years of my life, but every year of my life, aware that the higher I climb the less I need to truly be fulfilled...

AshliDawn Bradshaw