Stuff and Self

I have an app that allows me to load my own affirmations and photos into it and it delivers every morning. I never know which combination of photo and quote I’m going to get…this one made me laugh.

The house looks like a peeling, rusting, slapped-together shack. But what a view of paradise!

At my advancing age, I may be wiser, but I still need reminding that comparing myself to others is nothing but a painful waste of time. They aren’t me and I’m not them, and that’s okay. I must constantly say to myself, “Shake off these thoughts of things that you can’t change and enjoy what’s right in front of you!” I worry too much about the material world. Nearly all of my peers seem to be doing so much better than I am.

But, my house is only where I sleep. My home is in this gloriously beautiful world!

Counting success by my material gains is ridiculous, anyway. Stuff doesn’t last, despite buying the extra warranty! I’ve lost so many things that I can still see in my mind’s eye, as if I could reach out and touch them — but they’re gone. I moved around a lot, was robbed and burgled, flooded out and had a house fire. That I have anything from my past is a marvel!

Yet, each loss led to the accumulation of way more stuff. In fact, as I think of more I’d like to get, I’m sitting amidst So. Much. Stuff. Material things are a burden, anchoring me to a state of perpetual unhappiness and stagnation. I’m aware if this, but you wouldn’t know it if you saw my house.

However, life is a learning process that doesn’t end until I do. Every day, I can try to simplify. Every day I can do something, no matter how small, to make things better. I don’t have to define myself by the opinions of those who contribute nothing to my life.

I’ve survived so many mistakes and so many dark times when I wanted to give up. But, I’ve also gone on to have achievements, small and large, that I’m proud of. Those memories are worth hanging on to, not the loss of all those things that I obviously could live and thrive without, and not the wrong decisions and stupid utterances that haunt my thinking with self-accusations as I try to sleep.

I will stop that! Out, damned thoughts! If I’m going to appreciate all I have, I have to stop looking inward and open my eyes to the potential for joy that’s all around me.

Success isn’t a static state. My greatest success will be found in the here and now, happy with what I have, and putting all my talents and energies to good use.

That, to me, is a successful life!


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