So, there are few things on the internet that I love more than a good, solid quotation. But like that old school game of telephone, sometimes in the pinning and re-pinning, tweeting and retweeting, the truth can morph a little bit. Words get mixed up, and even the origin of the quote can get confused (John Green can tell you all about this here).
That is what is said to have happened with this quotation, originally spoken by José Micard Teixeira, and made popular by Meryl Streep:
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”
As a pretty voracious reader, I have loved many quotations over the years, but when I read this one for the first time, with Meryl’s picture, my jaw dropped. What must it be like to move through life with that kind of confidence?
I’m learning that my ability to maintain a life of simplicity is directly correlated to my confidence.
The truth is, I’ve never seen myself as a very confident person, but I crave a more simple life — simplicity in my house, in my closet, in my body, in how I choose to spend my time, in my online space, and in my soul. And just like learning to play the trumpet, learning to live simply is a discipline. It takes practice.
And who has time to practice?
Confession: I am not a color coded day planner wielding kind of girl. But with the month of March being filled to the brim, and my tendency towards anxiety, I figured now might be a good time to start.
I’ve been reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes, where she writes that there are 168 hours in a week, and how God’s call on our lives isn’t to cram our calendars, but to slow down so that we can discern what is truly the best use of our resources.
It really isn’t difficult to say no to what we know is not a good use of our resources — what’s difficult is saying to to the good things so that we can make room for the best things. And there are a lot of good things that we can fill our days with. But Lysa writes that “never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul.”
Sure, there are some nonnegotiable things that need to get done that don’t necessarily bring us joy or fulfillment — but I’ve found that I have been lazy with the rest of the resources that I’ve been given. In my painful lack of confidence and discipline, I have blatantly chosen things that don’t bring me joy.
We’ve been going through a study on wellness at church, and in true God fashion, he has used it to reveal the things in my life that really prevent me from claiming wellness in my soul. In my haste to do so many things, I have been broken.
We hoard and become anxious because we fear that God won’t provide. And the truth is, there are not enough hours in the day to do everything — but there are enough hours for everything that really matters. Lord, help us to be mindful of the things that matter.
So every Monday in March, I’ll be writing about simplicity in a different area of my life, and I hope that you’ll consider joining me.
And now, a giveaway!