“The only things you need are the very things that can never be taken from you.” was one of my favourite quotes from a wonderful interview I watched this morning by Marie Forleo with Glennon Doyle Melton.
The Problem With “Things”
Glennon’s sage advice is very Stoic, and well worth remembering in this age of hyper-consumerism, where so many of us tie our worth to ‘things’. The problem is, when times are hard, if you can’t afford the ‘things’, or you can’t keep up the perceptions associated with having them, your self-worth spirals down with your fortunes. This is not just a modern-day problem though (see Letters from a Stoic). The truly important ‘things’ in life cannot be purchased, cannot be worn, cannot be watched (I’m one of seemingly few people I know who believe that a bigger TV will NOT make me happier – yeah, I’m weird …). The important things are what’s leftover when everything else has fallen away that you thought you needed. Fairly sure that is not a 4K TV (my boyfriend begs to differ).
They are both incredibly inspiring women. I was particularly impressed with how Glennon has dealt with many of the obstacles she’s faced in her life. Her response to what was a life changing betrayal – “I am not what just happened to me, but I might be what I do next.” Glennon’s ability to keep moving forward, even in the shittiest of circumstances (the potential collapse of her very public image, as her family life fell apart) is inspiring.
Glennon’s views on our purpose in life are also in line with my own (the sentiment anyway, I’m an atheist myself), “What God cares about is peace, love, beauty and caring for hurting people, and so God put women here as someone who cares about peace and love and beauty and caring for hurting people … Our purpose is to heal our selves and heal the world. And you don’t [wait to] heal yourself completely before you heal the world. That’s never going to happen.”.
They also talk about the importance of women being present and accounted for (as Sheryl Sandberg so eloquently wrote about in Lean In – read this if you haven’t already). The interpretation of the word “Ezer” is a great example of why this is so important – it went from meaning “benevolent warrior” or “suitable partner/equal” to subservient “man’s helper”. “That’s why there have to be women at every single table, because if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”.
And some wonderful advice, especially for bloggers and anyone (everyone!) on social media: “Try to be brave enough to tell your own story but kind enough not to tell anyone else’s.”.
You can check out the full interview here.