Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the way I see things...

The past 18 months or so has a been a time of pretty intense reflection and self-assessment for me, where I have asked questions and been forced acknowledge things that are excruciatingly painful about both myself and the world outside of me. I would like to think I have been continually growing in knowledge of myself, who I want to be, where I am going, and what is actually important in life, rather than what our culture tells me should be important.

Here is some of what I have learned:

"Stuff" won't make you happy. This has never been in doubt for me at any point nor do I believe that I have ever really given in to this kind of thinking (or maybe I'm deluding myself, who knows?). The reason I mention it here is because I have had the chance to observe others who have so much materially but are never satisfied and those who live far more simply (whether by choice or not) yet are far more content. I think it's great to enjoy the things we've been blessed with, but when that becomes the focus it is just not healthy.

It's important to enjoy the simple things in life. A cup of tea and a good book, a meaningful conversation, the smiles and laughter of those I love most, a walk by the ocean, and a beautiful song are all simple things that are worth savouring and enjoying. I am learning to do so more and more with each passing day.

I want to be an agent of grace, mercy, and compassion. Not only are these qualities interconnected, but they are in short supply in our culture. And if I am being perfectly honest, I believe I do a piss-poor job at showing each of them; however, I don't want that to be case. My prayer is that my heart will continue to be changed, that I will extend grace to those undeserving because it has been extended to me and I am no more deserving of it than anyone else.

I will take practical, steady, and reliable over flashy and showy any day. This logic can be applied to anything from vehicles to the people with whom I choose to have close relationships. When it comes to people, I am drawn to and my life has been blessed with those of character, integrity, kindness, patience, humour and grace. The reason I believe myself to have a rich life is due to the relationships in it; without fail, my closest friends are incredibly loving and supportive of me (and Caitlin) and make me feel valued. I am blessed.

The best things in life are worth fighting for. I don't mean this in a militaristic way, obviously, and when I say this I tend to think about people and relationships. Sometimes relationships take effort and can be taxing, but they are a huge part of what make life worth living. When I really love someone and there is a rift in the relationship, I will do almost anything to see that healed; the idea of giving up on a loved one or writing them off is almost never an option for me because relationships are of immeasurable value in my life, more so than money, possessions, or my job.

Thoughts, loyal readers?


Dawn said...

Truth, beauty and wisdom abound in this post, Matty. But what do you mean "almost never an option?" Have a heart, man. ;)

SVZ said...

I dunno man...stuff makes me pretty happy.....It's not my focus...but nothing makes my day like getting lost in IKEA...oh boy!

But I very like everything else you say...YAY

Anonymous said...

I really like your list here, bro.


DP said...

Amen dude. amen.

The world needs more Matty Binghams.
Really does.

Keep on self-reflecting and never stop refining that list.

You're special. And loved.