The Simple Self

I’m convinced we like simplicity as a concept. ‘Simple’ is straight-forward, decisive, raw, definite, sobering, distilled, honest, and unpretentious.

Daily we are inundated with different entities that need or want something from us. These things tend to complicate matters. And when things get complicated, depending on who you are, the stress of these requests or demands slowly start to break us down. We start to move away from the simple and drift unavoidably toward the realm of complexity. But’s it’s not complexity, is it? No. It’s difficulty. There’s some kind of resistance with you that ultimately comes from your needing to DECIDE.

Decision making is tough. But it doesn’t have to be.

I’ve noticed that the older I get, the more binary I’ve become. Which is to say the more ‘Black & White’ I’ve become about issues — ‘What I like or Don’t like’, ‘Who I am or Who I’m not’, or ‘What I eat vs. What I don’t eat’. And this is a big deal for me. For years I sat comfortably in that middle area, that “gray area” we’re familiar with. Mind you it’s okay to be in that place whilst you decide where you stand, but I’m convinced that one shouldn’t live there; it’s a waiting room, not a home.

In the film “Lost in Translation”, Bill Murray’s older married character, “Bob”, delivers a great line to Scarlett Johansson’s younger married character “Charlotte”.

Charlotte: I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be.

Bob: You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.

I want to hone in on Bob’s second preposition: “What you want.” This is what decision is about anyways, right? To me it comes down to the kind of person you want to be. Once you have a strong idea of that, then making a decision naturally becomes easier and “things upset you less”. Because you know what you stand for; but more importantly (I feel), you know what you won’t fall for.

And don’t concern yourself with the result of your decision. We feel the suffocation of anxiety and worry when we toil most about effect our decision will or will not have; that’s out of our control. Again, knowing which decision to make falls back on the kind of person you’ve decided to be. As to what person that is will have to be for another post.

You want simple. There, you just did it. There’s something you know you want. Now allow that to inform who you are, what you do, and that will start to form you. Let your yes be yes and no be no.

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