From time to time, a reexamination of what matters most to us and a true commitment to clearing out the mental and physical clutter that accumulates in our lives is necessary.
On my recent trip to the Smoky Mountains, a fellow traveler mentioned that it is not uncommon for people to willingly disappear in national parks to escape the modern world. At first, I thought this idea was crazy, but upon my return, I realized that I had a deep longing for the silence and peace I had found on the trip. While I won’t be selling my things and disappearing into a park, on a much smaller scale, I find myself committing to clearing out that which does not serve or bring meaning to my life.
The noise of life has a way of building and building in the background until one day; we find ourselves overwhelmed and exhausted trying to focus on what matters. Our physical possessions and our old commitments add to the noise, demanding our attention unless we make an effort to let them go.
This, perhaps, is the lasting lesson from my time in the Smoky Mountains. Among many insights and life-changing experiences on the trip, the notion that we are better served by settling into a more simplified lifestyle remains top of mind.
There is joy to be found in the process of letting old things go.
There is peace to be found in missing out on the things that no longer serve us.