Life is Series of Subtractions.
A blog-mate and I were exchanging emails about how she was giving up this 'n that and I was sharing with her what I had chosen to give up when I was reminded of a spiritual retreat I was on back in the day, when the facilitator mentioned he'd always thought life was about what we could add to it (addition) when actually it was the exact opposite (subtraction).
I've never forgotten that. We were all a bunch of recovered alcoholics there so we'd already let go of the "divil dhrink" but being told we would improve our lives greatly if we subtracted other stuff - Whut?, give up more? - had us just about running for cover.
But he was right. Now I'm listing some of what I've given up over the years since I first gave up alcohol. Much of it's not "stuff". It is behaviours and attitudes that do not serve me well no matter how cushy they feel. And some were not by choice but by circumstance.
Compulsive eating and/or restricting food
People pleasing (still working on that!)
Sex (not by choice!)
Well paying work I found unfulfilling
Toxic relationships in the guise of "romance".
I'm sure more will come to my mind.
I'll write about the additions I've made to replace these subtractions in another post for nature does abhor a vacuum.