November 19, 2021
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
One of the great things about old age is we don’t have to worry about who we are. I think to many folks live their lives as actors following a script written by others. For some of us it is difficult to free ourselves from our past and who we use to be. For me the freedom to be myself is a great gift.
Years ago Angel Chernoff wrote the following that reminded me of the value of jettisoning our past to free us up so we can enjoy our futures. I have abridged the article for length.
7 Things You Never Have to Wear Again
1. You never again have to wear the guilt of your past. – Guilt and regret about the past aren’t serving your present. Let go, apologize, forgive and choose to live free of guilt and regret.
2. You never again have to wear your pain. – How many times have you tried to shop away your pain? Retail therapy is an expensive way to relieve the pain of boredom, frustration and heart ache and it only delivers temporary relief.
3. You never again have to wear the pressure to prove yourself. – I tried to prove who I was by what I wore and by what I accomplished. The problem was that there was always more to prove and eventually I forgot who I was in the process.
4. You never again have to wear your failures. – Failure gets such a bad rap but it’s nothing more than a stepping stone to success. It’s through the failures that we learn new approaches and ways of doing things. You don’t have to feel sad or bad for failing because if you are failing, that means you are trying.
5. You never again have to wear goals you’ve outgrown. – Letting go of goals and dreams can be the most challenging of all. As our lives change, we change, and things that seemed so important years ago may slowly fade away. Instead of beating yourself up for not achieving your old goals, focus on your new dreams and develop goals or bucket lists that reflect who you are right now.
6. You never again have to wear everything you think. – Often, our thoughts can weigh us down but thoughts are just thoughts. Some are true and real and some aren’t. When we cling too tightly to believing everything we think, we distance ourselves from the truth. Questioning the truth of my thoughts has prevented me from over reacting in some situations and helped me let go of other things more easily. Once you realize that all of your thoughts aren’t true, they will be much lighter.
7. You never again have to wear other people’s expectations. – When you stop wearing the weight of other people’s expectations and judgements, you’ll be more connected to who you are and to what matters to you. When you let go of what other people think, you’ll gain clarity and freedom to enjoy your life.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
The following letter from the family’s solicitor is addressed to a member of the British aristocracy who has been spending much of the summer in his residence in the south of France leaving his wife in the United Kingdom to look after the ancestral home.
Dear Sir Royston,
I hope you are having a good time on your holiday. I say this with sincerity because I am afraid that I have some bad news for you, although there is good news too. First the bad news. I am sorry to tell you that your favorite dog, Honey, is dead. The vet says that she died instantly and could have felt no pain. She was kicked in the head by your horse, Sherbert, though I’m sure that no blame can be attached to Sherbert, frightened as he was by the fire in the barn.
I’m afraid that Sherbert was in the barn along with your other horses when it burnt to the ground. The fire brigade had been called within a short time of the barn catching fire and would normally have been able to put the fire out. Had it had not been for the fact that the tender crashed into your Bentley in the lane. Your wife had taken it out for a spin with your brother. As it was, both the tender and your Bently were written off. No blame can be attached to your wife for the accident I’m sure.
The Bentley was stationary at the time and your wife was in the back seat of the car. She managed to escape death only due to the fact that your brother was lying on top of her at the time of the collision. The doctors say that given time she will regain her sight but that she will never walk again. She has also lost her memory and cannot even remember you. Your brother, unfortunately, was killed.
I should explain how the barn came to be on fire in the first place. You see a spark from the house blew over and set the roof alight. The fire started in the main hall of the house where, as you know, your Mattisse and your Picasso once hung. I say ‘once’ because they are not there now. Fortunately neither of these paintings were damaged in the conflagration as they were stolen beforehand by the burglar who started the fire.
Although all of this may seem to you very serious it is not in fact the bad news that I wrote of. Your wife and brother had been visiting your Insurance agent in prison where he is serving a three year sentence for fraud. I’m afraid that none of your insurance policies are valid.
As I said, there is some good news. The heat from the fire warmed your greenhouse and brought your flowers on.
It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn’t know – and the less a man knows, the more sure he is he knows everything.
Little Benny came home from his first day of school and said,
“Mommy, the teacher was asking me today if I have any brothers and sisters who will be coming to my school.”
“That’s nice of her to take such an interest in your family, dear. What did she say when you told her that you are the only child?”
She just said, “Thank goodness!”
Everyone seems normal until……..you get to know them.
Another lesson on how to maintain domestic harmony:
The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his very life into his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver’s license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!!
DANGEROUS: What’s for dinner? SAFER: Can I help you with dinner? SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner? ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that? SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown. SAFEST: WOW! Look at you! ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about? SAFER: Could we be overreacting? SAFEST: Here’s fifty dollars. ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that? SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left. SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that? ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.
DANGEROUS: What did you do all day? SAFER: I hope you didn’t overdo it today. SAFEST: I’ve always loved you in that robe! ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
Henry David Thoreau
She said: On a visit to Indianapolis, I was eager to visit a posh department store some distance from our hotel. My husband obligingly hailed a cab. “The lady wants to go to Saks Fifth Avenue,” he told the driver.
The cabby looked over his shoulder at us. “And the gentleman?” he asked. “Does he want to go to the bank?”
The man walked over to the perfume counter and told the clerk he’d like a bottle of Chanel No. 5 for his wife’s birthday.
“A little surprise, eh?” smiled the clerk.
“You bet,” answered the customer. “She’s expecting a cruise.”
Give some women an inch, and they’ll rearrange or redecorate it
A Sunday School teacher was trying to explain about saying grace before meals. One of the pupils was the young son of the minister of that church, so she started the discussion by asking him, “Jerry, what does you father say when the family sits down to dinner?”
Jerry answered, “Dad says ‘Go easy on the butter, kids — it’s three dollars a pound!'”
Simplify your life. Don’t waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don’t burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don’t destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!
Henry David Thoreau
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