GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#70 — February 1, 2018

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.

— Democritus

Greetings, Inspired Seekers!

“Do you have the right stuff?” is a question we often find ourselves asking. Whether in the workplace or when facing a challenging ordeal, this is the question that pops to mind. I have been asking myself this question a lot these days as health challenges for older relatives have kept me busy with their support. And, one of those support efforts involves stuff. Lots of stuff.

Clearing out stuff, moving stuff, saving stuff, giving stuff away, selling stuff… wow we all have a lot of stuff! But, do we have the right stuff? The stuff that will aid in our happiness, enrich our lives, bring joy to our days… do we have enough of that stuff or do we simply have too many things?

This quandary seems to be more spiritual than practical, for this issue of stuff is about clutter; not just the cluttering of our homes but the cluttering of our souls, our hearts and our beings.

All of the great spiritual leaders, from Jesus to Buddha to Gandhi, and the mystics of many traditions warn us of the perils and the emptiness of too much stuff. Of chasing happiness in a futile way. And yet, we continue to fill our closets without filling our spirit. We fill our lives with the latest and trendiest while we hunger for kindness and peacefulness.

What are we holding onto that is preventing us from making room for a deeper good? Why do we seek more stuff even as we remain unfulfilled in so many other ways? Stuff might be the answer but only if it is the right stuff.

Kindness, mercy, compassion and forgiveness are the stuff of spirit - and the stuff we need in this world. The natural flow of Divine energy is powered by grace, not goods. Grace is always sustainable while goods are simply a commodity. Love is the supreme food that fills us, nurtures us and allows us to nurture others.

While we might not need to beg like the Buddha or give everything away as Saint Francis did, we might do well to consider the soulful stuff that true richness and joyful dreams are made of and really ask ourselves - Do I have the right stuff? It might be time for a change.

See you next month - I'm going to clean out my shoe closet!

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: I have enough. I do enough. I am enough.

The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington provides spiritual coaching to people of all faith traditions and honors those traditions through weddings, memorials and other sacred ceremonies. She can be reached at 215 260 1611 or at