In this time of abundance "less of me" is not what we usually hear. Most of us are busy acquiring more and more stuff including knowledge and gadgets. We have a mentality of more is better. In our consumer culture we are encouraged to get yet another cell phone, ipad, ipod, laptop. We have learned to get bigger spaces to house our stuff. This means we are taking up more space, even though our technology is getting smaller.
What this does is gives us permission to indulge our self absorption, to become "more of me". As a result we don't have to think about our neighbours. We don't have to live as if our behaviour impacts others. We don't have to live in relation to the planet or the fact that life eventually, and sometimes suddenly, ends.
With permission to live as consumers, with a more is better attitude, we fail to see that the acquisition of stuff is futile at best. We can't take any of that stuff with us. We can move it from location to location but in the end we have to learn to let it all go. However, most of us focus exclusively on getting stuff with a de-emphasis on giving it away. With the focus on acquiring we are not well practiced in the art of letting go.
The same can be said of our sense of self. We spend years collecting elaborate stories about who we are and defining our identity. Once again "more of me" seems to be the approach. Some of us use our work to build our sense of self, others use the people in their lives as a basis for self definition or education, money, status in the community. It all comes down to the same thing, an acquisition approach vs a letting go approach.
A wise Buddhist nun said, "I practice letting go every day so that when I get to the end of my life there will be less of me to let go of". I don't know about you but that makes a lot of sense to me. The bigger our sense of self, our sense of entitlement or self-righteousness, the harder it will be to let go when we need to. How many of us practice letting go of that attitude of entitlement and move to a position of "less of me"? Most of us are busy focusing on getting our needs met so that "less of me" is a foreign concept. How often have we let go of anger when someone ticked us off in order to lessen the anger in the world? How many times have we let a driver or someone at the grocery story butt in front of us without holding on to our righteous indignation? Makes you think.
None of us let go easily. We need to practice letting go to get better at it. Next time someone irritates you, and you know they will, it would be interesting to see if you could let it go just to reduce the negativity in the world. I am convinced that our lives would be different, better, if we approached the world from a position of "Less of Me".