There was a time in my life in which I was proud to be seen as complicated. In my own interpretation, being a complicated person was equal to being interesting. If I were complicated then it meant that I had complex thought processes. It meant being intelligent and astute. In other words, I saw myself as more appealing when defined by my complicated personality. Looking back, I believe it was a mix between adolescence foolishness and a misconception of what complication and simplicity are all about. You may be wondering what led me to wanting to share this specific perspective with you. Well, if you have been reading me for the past years, you already know that raising awareness is key to me. Especially when it translates into a healthier and more empowered life.
I am all for sharing and exchanging and feel incredibly grateful every time we have the chance to regain ownership of our life. Every time we recognize what we can change or adapt in ourselves to get a better outcome. And this simplicity topic fits into one of these cases. When was the last time you looked at something – or someone – and recognized its simplicity without immediately spiraling into potential complications? What could go or has gone wrong, what are the obstacles, what should be done differently, what needs to change…these are usually a fragment of the thoughts running in our head at high speed. Guilty of charge! I mean, it happens to me all the time!
Today I’d like us to try a different approach. I invite you to look around and identify something – an object, a person, a thought. Whenever you have that element in mind (or at hand), just look at it as it is the very first time you are seeing it, as if you have never interacted with it before. What do you see? How does it make you feel? Do not overthink, just be. See the element for what it is, instead of for what it is not. Appreciate its simplicity, its purpose, the place it fills in your life.
For instance, let’s say I choose my notebook – the one I have next to me during my workday. I could look at it and immediately feel overwhelmed by all the information it carries, the to-be-taken decisions it holds, the endless tasks to be closed by the end of the day. By following today’s instructions, I choose to see a black hardcover book sitting on my desk whose yet blank pages are a call for creativity.
Now let’s imagine I focus on a person, my husband. It could take just one look for me to be reminded of a long list of things I asked him help with, and he did not even start; or how he annoyed this morning while we were getting the kids ready to go to school. When I look at him as if it were the first time, I see the [young] man I fell in love with fifteen years ago and how he is [still] my person.
Surely you can say that reality is not that simple. Or is it? Perhaps we are the ones adding layers and layers of complexity to then use our time and energy uncomplicating it. Maybe we need the complication to feel good about ourselves, to feel that what we do matters. Believe me, I am not a simplicity upholder, nor do I master the art of simplicity.
Life is not always black and white; I also move myself within the grey lines. However, I can’t help but notice that 1) we have a natural tendency to complicate things, and 2) simple things are way easier to enjoy. Perhaps we owe it to ourselves to welcome more simplicity into our life – whatever that looks like for each of us, that is a picture worth exploring. Even if it is not that simple at the end, what would you have to lose?