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Tuesday Truths: Simplify

December 4, 2012

On Saturday’s, I go for a long run through a cute neighborhood nearby my house.  It’s my time not only to burn calories, but to reflect on the week I just had and what will happen in the coming week.  It is one of the things I look the most forward to each week.  It’s simple.

On my path, I run by a church.  I always catch myself looking at the sign outside of it, the message on which changes each week.  Last week, the sign was promoting a class the church was holding about how to simplify Christmas.  It was a simple message about a simple class, but for this over-analyzer, it hit home.

The message hit the obvious chord it was intended to strike:  Christmas is not about maxing out credit cards, freaking out over baking or out-doing the Jones’ with your outside decorations.  Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ and recognizing that the birth of a mere child in the most meager of circumstances was enough to save the world.  It’s as simple as that.

The message, though, also struck me much deeper than it was intended to.  The question I’ve been asking since, is how do I muck up things by veering off of the simple path?  How might my own relationships be improved if I were to simplify the way I approach them?

So often, I feel like the world tells us that in relationships, we need to be someone other than our simple selves to succeed in them.  Rather than just coming to the table with what we have to offer, we have to accessorize it.  We accessorize it with lavish gifts, expensive nights out and closets full of clothing so that we never wear the same things twice to said expensive nights out.  We accessorize it with hair care products, fancy makeup and delicious smelling perfume.  We come to the table, more often than not, not as ourselves but as some fabricated concoction of who we really are.

When it comes to the examples listed above, I am guilty as charged.  I am guilty when it comes to my interactions with my family.  I am guilty when it comes to my interactions with my friends.  I am guilty when it comes to my interactions with my lovers.

I can think of numerous instances in my relationships with family, friends and lovers where I was led to believe that my simple self was not enough.  Instead of just presenting myself as who I was and loving them, I took extreme measures to earn their affection.  The thing about those extreme measures, though, is that more often than not they are not received how you might expect.  In fact, they go unnoticed in large part.

Why is this?  It is because showing affection is meant to be simple.   You show affection by being a constant presence in someone’s life and someone whom they know they can count on.  You show affection by saying what you mean and giving words of affirmation to those whom you love.  You show affection by showing up consistently and always being your same, simple self.

Many of us can benefit by simplifying.  And the method to begin the process of doing so is simple:  Just believe that you, as you come now, are enough.

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