Does your life spark joy?
If you, like millions of others, have watched “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix or read her best selling self-help book on getting your life organized, you know of what I am sparking, I mean, speaking. While I do not subscribe to the Shinto religion that is the underlying spirituality of the “KonMarie” method I do see the good that is coming from her “tidying up” revolution. (Just FYI-Marie spent five years of her life as a Shinto shrine maiden, or miko, assisting priests with rituals etc. and believes that kami- or a sacred spirit or essence- exists in everything and therefore everything should be treated with respect. This explains why Marie performs the ritual of “greeting the house” and “waking up objects” by tapping on them. This is also why she has you touch every object to see if it “sparks joy”, meaning, does it in some way connect to you and bring you happiness.) That aside...
Top 3 things that we can draw from taking a closer look at all that we have:
Ask yourself: Why do I own this? Did it make me feel better by buying it? Did it in some way speak to my Pride (I am so awesome because I can buy this!?) or Vanity (everyone will think I am way cooler if I own this!) or Sensuality (I love the way this makes me feel!)? Because ultimately only God can bring us true and lasting joy. While Christians do not believe that “stuff” has a “spirit”, what the created (or “stuff”) can and should do is bring our hearts and minds back to the Creator to thank Him for His goodness in allowing us to be stewards of all that we have, acknowledging that all that we have, are or will be belongs to Him. Stuff is not “bad” but it should never take the place of God.
Less is more: In the KonMarie method, if you take a good look at ALL that you have (like piling all of your clothes on the bed at one time), most will see that we have way too many things. And while some things we may have been given/ inherited and other things we may have collected ourselves, by going through each item and seeing if it “sparks joy” or in some way brings a smile to our face, is a much easier way to decide if we want to keep it going forward in our life or not. If not, by acknowledging its usefulness and “thanking” it, it makes it easier to let go of it. It is a kind way of “breaking up” with our stuff…”Let it go! Let it go!” Because in reality...it never knew you owned it. Bye! Bye!
Stuff is stuff: When we see that our stuff is just “stuff” and that more of it does not necessarily make us happier, on the contrary, it often leads to feelings of a heavy burden because we have to pay for it, house it and take care of it-- if we can “declutter” our lives then we can become freer to love what is real and meaningful. Loving relationships*, ultimately our relationship with God, is what makes life worth living, not stuff. Stuff cannot fill the void that only God was meant to fill.
As seen on the episodes of “Tidying Up” we all have stuff. People hang onto it for a variety of reasons. If you, like me, are looking around and realizing that you have way more than you need or even want, pray and ask for the grace to be free from all that would keep you from living the best life God intends for you to live now. God wants for you to live a life that is abundant and full not because of what you own, but because of Who owns you. We are God’s beloved, and knowing that should in itself, SPARK A LIFETIME FULL OF JOY!
“...be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never forsake you or abandon you.’” Hebrews 13:5
Help! I am drowning in stuff! Clothes, books (yipes! I LOVE books!) and everything else. Help me to keep it all in its proper place and perspective by never placing any of it over love of You or others. Please give me the grace to let go of what would ever keep me from loving You or others freely. Help me to live life with an open heart and hand. Help my heart and mind to cling only to You, because in You I will find all that I need. And...thank You for allowing me to be a steward of all of these things, these true blessings in my life. They are all from You! Help me to use them all for Your Kingdom and Your glory! Thank You Good and Gracious Father for your generosity to me, may I be as generous to others.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*This "spark of joy" moment (seen above in the photo) was while celebrating my mom's 89th Birthday with family! Thank You Lord for this truly happy occasion with those I love most!