These words were spoken more than two hundred years ago, and yet they are still relevant, a great reminder this holiday time of year that what we hold dear never comes easy. That is not always the message we hear in the media, online or when living our everyday lives. “Get it Now!” “Get it Fast!” “Have it All!” “You deserve it!” As those mixed message pile into our brain no wonder we struggle with anxiety and confusion around knowing who we are and what we want…and how do we get there?
Have no doubt, there is enough stuff in this world for us to want, need or buy on impulse. The message may be “You can have it All!” And unfortunately that message is true. We can have it all, usually at a VERY large cost and often those costs are not made apparent until much later. I hear people complain about all the stuff in their houses, feeling overwhelmed and unable to breathe and yet they still bring in more stuff. I hear people complain about not being able to choose, too much to do, too many priorities and too much burden in their lives. And yet they continue to try and ‘do’ more than they are able to handle. All of which stems from believing the message that you can have it all…and no thought or focus on the cost of having it all.
I’m not just talking about money here. I am talking about everything, every element of our lives. Living in today’s world is complex, multi-layered, multi faceted and at times it can even be overwhelming. There are only so many hours in a day and when we spend too much time dealing with stuff in our lives that time slips away quickly. There is an emotional element to having it all. We have the belief that other people live better lives than our own. We compare ourselves to others – how do they do it all, what’s wrong with me, how can they do it and I can’t, what can I do to be better at this? The anxiety builds which means we have bought the lie…no one has it all. NO ONE! That isn’t a cop out or being pessimistic, it’s being honest. Maybe speaking more honestly than we truly want to face. When we compare ourselves to everything, everyone we see online we get the distinct impression that their lives are perfect, better, more robust than our own…that is the exact impression the online world wants us to believe. It just isn’t true.
So let us take a breath. A deep breath and for a few moments take inventory of our own lives. What do we have, what do we need, and how do we feel about all of that? When no one is looking, when we are NOT comparing ourselves to others, how do we think we are doing in living our life our way? All of this introspection means we need to understand what we value not as it compares to what other people tell us we should value, what WE value. What are the things, people, parts of our life that we hold dear? When we think we are doing well in the things we hold dear, then no matter what anyone else tells us, we are successful. Contentment comes when we stop feeling frantic about keeping up with the times or trends and accept the inner satisfaction we already have with the life we are currently living. Is everything perfect, never. Do we have it all, probably not…remember no one does. Are we content and happy being who we are, where we are, and with the people in which we share our life? THAT is what we need to hold dear, what needs to shield us from the barrage we experience everyday. Hold things dear, cherish your choices, and be content with your life. It can be that simple if we choose to let it be that simple!