Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dumping the Fear

Way back in May of this year I had a personal revelation of sorts regarding fear in my life and how it motivated so many of my actions. It did and it still does to an extent, but its hold on me is less. I wrote about my feelings regarding this subject HERE but realized yesterday after watching Oprah and her bit on life in Denmark, that I still have a long way to go.
The recent economic situation in this country has left many folks realizing that the American lifestyle is a bit like lining up domino's, one thing falls, like your job for instance, and all the other things in life just tumble like that long row of domino's when the first one hits the next one.
Its your job, then your health coverage, next your house and car and soon you find that everything has tumbled into a depth of despair that is very hard to climb out of. Which in turn might be part of the motivation for this country becoming a nation of hoarders. We have houses full of stuff, then fill the garage, then we rent storage space or buy a storage building. And continue to shop, even if its just shopping at yard sales because there might be something out there that we might need sometime in the future or is just a deal too good to pass by, even if we never really need the item.
We have kitchens with cabinet space for a small army. We have pantry's full of enough food for a month and maybe even for a season, when we go to the store every week and often times more than that. Many have 4 sets of sheets for each bed, just because we want them, not need them.
We have closets so full of clothes some having a few sizes, just because we MIGHT want them if we ever loose that extra weight, only thing is, when we do loose the weight, we want to reward ourselves with NEW clothes, not drag out the old stuff. And then we have all the things we might need if that first domino falls.
Watching Oprah yesterday regarding the Danish lifestyle, it hit me straight on that they don't have houses full of stuff, because they don't live in fear, worried that if they loose their job, its going to be that domino effect. It just doesn't happen for them. They have safety nets in place, civilized options for folks that need a bit of help. There was a statement made by one of the Danish women when Oprah made a comment about Denmark being a Democratic country but with many programs that are of a Socialistic nature, and the response was, that they didn't see those programs as socialist, but as civilized ! Its civilized to want to take care of people.
I looked around my house, and all the corners are peppered with things I might need some day. The shower has a couple kinds of shampoos in the corners, not one, but more than one. I really only need one bottle at a time ! My sewing room is full of fabric I bought because it was pretty and MIGHT use some day for some project I MIGHT have in the future but was afraid they might not have it when I might need it. I have baskets of pretty yarn I MIGHT use some day but had to buy it because I was afraid they might not have it when I wanted it. AFRAID, is not a good motivation. Fears, both silly and grounded on what ?
Many of us have homes that need to be cleaned before guests arrive, and we take photos of rooms only after we have cleaned and pose things for the camera away from the chaos that somehow just seems to have appeared from our need to HAVE something just in case we needed it someday.
What freedom it would be to live without fear and live in the moment, and concentrate our time and energy on life at hand, on living this one day. That sounds quite civilized to me. Personally, I want to live with less fear as a motivator for my actions.
Here are a couple links from yesterdays Oprah Show


Joanie said...

I watched the show too and found it quite interesting myself. My husband and I continue to 'release' stuff that we've had, but don't need, and are more deliberate when purchasing something new.

One thing I found quite interesting, is that most people in Denmark do not have faith. The churches are mostly empty and many do not believe in God; perhaps there is a higher power in the universe (but only one woman Oprah spoke to was a believer).

Living simply is one thing (and I hope to live a more simple life as I continue on in this journey), but my faith is a critical aspect of my life ~ and I believe it does bring an added element that many people in Denmark don't even consider...

Good thoughts. I also appreciated the contrast of people's lives from the different areas highlighted on the show yesterday. Quite interesting!

And yes, I believe it's critical that we don't allow FEAR to control our lives. Love your posts! Please keep sharing. You are one of the people that keeps important issues at the forefront of my thoughts.

Abundant blessings...

Dawn said...

I don't watch Oprah, but you have a good post here! =)

And ya know, what some people don't realize is that a clutter free home makes a stress free individual. =)

Sometimes when I go shopping I remind myself that if I die today or tomorrow, I can't take 'said item' with me.
Saves clutter space and money with that thinking. =)

dog trot farm said...

I am of Danish decent and do not know if this plays into my idea of simple living. I love my simple home, no master suite or double sinks,no large tv, or fancy electronics. I have open fields and hens in their coop. I love the things that have been passed down to me or are made by myself, family or friends. I am most happiest at home and am proud to be a housewife and mother. The simple life is the life for me.

Margo in Maine said...

I did not see this show of Oprah...but your post was so true..was discussing with someone today..people who are older remember what it was to be without and they save for a rainy day...I understand that concept as I think that way many times and wonder what I need for faith is in Jesus Christ and my hope is in Him but your post made me rethink just where I am in life in regard to 'extra stuff'...thanks..have not checked in for a while but always enjoy your honesty and insight that you have..thank you for sharing...

heatherdmc said...

Although I don't watch Oprah, I have been convicted this way since we had talked about it way back on the "list". Bagging up and giving away. I too have had my share of yarns and materials. I notice that with the vacancies though, I find more areas open to sunlight...and dusting!

1Snap&ASizzle said...

Yay! I found my twin & she lives in Denmark! - right down to her hairstyle & black dress (my 'other' garment - LOL!) I love my home as well, with all its pretty views and simple, well-crafted architecture. I could easily relate to the Danish family's philosophy and the space and breathe-ability of their environment. As a minimalist for most of my life, I have known few to also live this way. It's nice to see others beginning to clear away items that rob so much of their life's energy.

Thanks so much for providing the Oprah link and giving me the opportunity to view this segment from the program. Our simple lifestyle does not include possession of a television :-)

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