Simplicity

by Joseph Barker, 35, Graphic Designer, Melbourne

I enjoy simplicity.

When I read something put simply, it is incredibly powerful. When I see a drawing that is simple, it touches me inside. It has a sense of strength. It is clear, direct and easy to understand. So why is it I have let my life get so complicated at times?

I have been working on my CV recently. It’s tempting to say so much – to lie or reinvent. It feels like this is because of fear, a fear of being rejected. To say ‘here I am’ in clear daylight seems risky. What if I am not ‘enough’?

I’ve realised when I am vulnerable and keep things simple, I feel like a true man: it’s not toughness or a roughness, but a simple strength of expression, a sense of being me.

When we speak simply there is no room to hide and that’s what I admire. When someone accepts a marriage proposal and simply says “yes”, that’s the most touching moment. If they said “well potentially, according to the time of day and how I feel in the morning and if subsection c of paragraph b of the marriage arrangement is met”, it would not be the same.

When I talk with other people I notice things get very complicated. It’s like I am scared to say “no”, so instead it becomes “well maybe another day if its possible, not that I don’t want to, you understand”. This is a game of politeness I play to keep things comfortable and safe. It’s a way to hide from other people’s anger and from feeling that I’m alone. But does this game actually stop me feeling pain? In my experience it does not. In fact, it causes all the strife. It stops me connecting to other people and gets in the way of life.

Is it possible we are scared of simplicity because it brings reality? Not to mention, responsibility and accountability? Is there something we are hiding from?

What if our life is simply a result of the choices that we make?

You can write a million books and speak a thousand words, but I have found a simple sentence can contain much more wisdom.

I feel life is simple. I’ve always known this in my heart, but it was not until I heard a presentation by Serge Benhayon in 2010 that I claimed this to be true. Through his simple presentations I’ve learnt that when I let my body speak, life gets simpler again. Just like a child when you ask them if they want to go to the pool. They don’t say ‘”let me get back to you, I may have time but you see I have a meeting in the sand pit planned and my schedule is fairly packed”. They just say yes or no. So it is with me. My body says no to alcohol. It says yes to being warm. It says yes to sharing how I feel and no to holding it inside.

Simplicity is a great indicator for me. It’s not a kind of perfection or an austerity, but a natural way to be I am learning to embrace. Complexity is always there waiting to come back in. But as I simplify my way, I find more joy comes along.

When I come to write how I feel about life, it really is simple. All the stories fade away. It all comes back to love and honesty – and being me today.

Simple eh?

407 thoughts on “Simplicity

  1. I think we often over complicate things and it is really refreshing to simplify our lives, and the way we live. I love clear simple things because it allows me to simply be, when we complicate things they get confusing and I go straight into our head.

  2. There is something unequivocal in the simplicity of a ‘yes’ response. I pondered about writing a CV and simply presenting ourselves. Simplicity removes the veils and smoke screens we would like to present and leaves us naked for all to see. There is a beauty and vulnerability in that.

  3. “Is it possible we are scared of simplicity because it brings reality? Not to mention, responsibility and accountability?” I suspect you are right here. We avoid making decisions just in case we are wrong, yet we are far more likely to make a mistake if we procrastinate because we will forever wonder ‘what if’.

  4. There is no denying we live in a complicated world, so by keeping the way we live our every day as simple as we can the easier it will be.

  5. I love this simplicity, Joseph, I used to criticize myself that I didn’t know enough to express properly, but actually, I know now how lots can be conveyed very succinctly in a few words.

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