I recently thought I would start looking for some higher quality furniture. What I have is mostly low quality because I needed to buy a lot all at once when I first got my house. I also wanted to be more intentional about having some sort of color scheme. What I have now is hodgepodge, at least that’s the kind way of putting it.
I decided to start with getting a couple accent chairs. After spending an embarrassingly large amount of time looking at chairs, the only thing I came up with was that I am a chair snob. I get tangled up like this when planning to spend a fair amount of money. I can’t shell over the dough if the item is not absolutely perfect.
So I had to talk myself down from all this. I can get stubborn and obsessive about things. Turning all that off can be quite challenging for me. It’s not that I had to get a chair; it’s that I struggle to accept defeat. It becomes a problem to solve. The original motivation is lost; the only thing that matters is solving the puzzle.
So that’s the backstory.
When sitting down with myself over this newfound obsession, a phrase came to mind:
Love what you have.
I didn’t need chairs. I have chairs. Are there ways I can work with what I already have to create the comfortable, welcoming, functional environment I am trying for?
And of course, because of the spatial nature of my thinking, I took this thought in other directions.
Love the stuff you have:
We are becoming more and more a disposable society: we are a people who easily disposes of things from milk jugs to cars, so we have an existence that has few lasting roots.
What if we resurrected the idea of caring for things as if they are quality and keeping things as if they have deeper value than just their monetary value? What if we developed what we had instead of always seeking something new? Our ancestors lived this way because they didn’t have a choice. What if we lived this way out of choice?
Love the people you have:
It is getting more and more common to speak of unfriending people. Facebook made that notion a common verb, but our society has developed this notion over a few decades. If the people in our lives are not suiting us, we seek to replace them whether that’s looking for a new job, moving to a new city, or seeking out a new religious community.
What if we resurrected the idea of caring for the people in our lives as if they have inherent worth and sticking with people as if they had deeper value than just their ability to service our expectations? What if we invested in those around us instead of always seeking out new community? Our ancestors lived this way because they didn’t have a choice. What if we lived this way out of choice?
Love the you you have:
We live in a busy culture. Everything around us keeps us busy, from work to chores to required social engagements. But we let it. And we resist opportunities to slow down and get to know ourselves. We spend our extra time off looking for chairs to change the world we find ourselves in.
What if we resurrected the idea of caring for ourselves as if we are worthy of self-care and spend time with ourselves as if we have deeper value than just what we produce in all that busyness? What if we cultivated ourselves instead of always seeking ways to get away from ourselves? Our ancestors lived this way because they didn’t have a choice. What if we lived this way out of choice?
I don’t think our ancestors had it all figured out. Like I said, they didn’t have a choice. Products were scarcer, life was slower and quieter, and most people were born and died in the same town, village, or tribe. All this gave ample space for someone to get to know themselves.
We are becoming a more and more shallowly rooted people. If this were just about chairs, well that’s no big deal. But at least for me, when I sat there and thought about my chair predicament, I realized a lost contentment to love what you have and be blessed to witness the miracle of what it can become.