It’s a natural human instinct to protect stuff. It’s an intrinsic part of our historical survival strategy; to protect the source of basic needs like shelter, food, and family etc. But like so many of these instincts, they become a bit confused in the context of modern times. Where the urgent instinct moves to other things. And stuff.
Protecting our stuff costs a lot. The price we pay takes many shapes and forms. It can cost money, time, space, and even our relationships with others. We happily protect things by paying for security, storage, insurance, maintenance etc.
But what about the other stuff that requires protection and nurturing? The not so urgent (yet vitally important) things. Not our physical stuff…the things that give us deep, meaningful, and joy filled lives.
We are not always great at protecting those things.
It can take intentionality, discipline and motivation to work on those meaningful projects and hobbies. You are the boss of your own creative output, and it relies on your own inner-drive. So it’s tough to protect that space and time to humbly practice your life’s art (the thing that gives you a sense of flow and excitement as an individual).
The body (and mind) is the ultimate ‘stuff’ we possess. We only get one.
Justice for Others
The act of protecting other people is an act of protecting everyone.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
– Martin Niemöller
It can be the people who are closest to us that we take for granted the most. And they are the ones we harm when we don’t protect those relationships. Not protect the person per se, but protect the space, time, and energy around the connection between you.
We need space to grow, and the freedom to pursue this growth in everyday life. This requires us to protect the openness to evolve into who we are, to become who we are becoming. A journey which never ends.
Don’t live with a sense of pride and duty to some abstract ideology, belief, or label you once felt drawn to. But protect your ability to grow in different directions, in conjunction with your deep rooted values.
Introverts and sensitive types need to protect alone time. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
If you protect your solitude, then you wont feel the need to hoard it in unhealthy ways. Schedule appointments with yourself each week. Protect enough solitude to sustain you. Enough to re-energise you. Enough to give you a sense of peace when you go about the rest of life, knowing that your energy is going to be just fine.
You can watch this episode on YouTube.
Over to You
How do you ensure that creativity, health, justice, relationships, personal growth, and solitude are all protected in your own life? Please leave your response in the comments below.