I’ve talked about letting go on an emotional level, about forgiving and moving forward. And certainly there will be a lot more of that topic to come, this is about letting go of “things”.
As of late I’ve been shedding or letting go of “things”, things that I have continued to cling to long after they have out-lived their use. We all do it. Look around your place. I’m sure you’ll find boxes of things that you couldn’t list the contents of.
I’ve done this “shed” once before. In 2008 I sold my condo and most of my stuff, anything I didn’t sell went into “storage” (aka like a squirrel hiding its nuts, spread evenly amongst family and friends basements and garages). I put everything I needed into a duffel bag and moved into a tent in the middle of the African bush in Botswana for a year. I can honestly say I probably used about half of what was in that bag. I didn’t have a bathroom, or running water or an oven. We dug a hole into an abandoned termite mound for a washroom. We filled a bucket on a pulley in a tree with water from the swamp that was heated over a fire, to shower. We cooked over a fire, we hand washed our cloths and hung them to dry, the nearest town was a 3-5 hour drive away, and by town I mean they just got internet about 6 years ago, we got what we needed in town once a week, sometimes once every other week.
That was where I learned about how little we actually need to survive.
However the story of my time in Africa is a completely different one.
Back to now. As our space swells it quickly fills up with more stuff. It’s actually quite amazing, it sneaks up on us and we don’t even realize it and all of a sudden we’re full again. Emotional attachment to things is perfectly normal. We all do it. What we must try not to forget is that memories live on forever in our hearts.
I recently sold my road bike and I cried. Seems silly I know, however understand that I rode a lot of kilometers on that bike. I bought it at the end of a long-term relationship I was in and through the break up it was in the saddle of that bike that I found a lot of solitude and time to think. I did three, 800km bike tours to raise money for kids with cancer to go to camp (imagine the time spent training). I crashed on that bike and I recovered on that bike, both mentally and physically. I met two of my now closest girlfriends on that bike. I wasn’t using it anymore, or maybe I didn’t need it anymore, so I sold it and I hope the person that bought it gets as much out of it that I did. The memories will live on in my heart.
Material possessions are temporary.
While we do attach ourselves emotionally to some things, what about those that we spend simply on self-esteem? Expensive cloths, or maybe just more clothes, shoes, purses, stuff for our house that doesn’t actually reflect who we are but what we saw in a magazine as “perfection”(another post on how important it is to make your house a home is to come). These purchases are temporary highs, and might make ourselves feel better in the moment, it doesn’t last, it does fill up our space with more meaningless stuff. We can get the same high or a better one helping someone or doing things that are truly enriching for ourselves and these highs actually last much longer, but are equally as addictive.
We can become addicted to Happiness. (Psst start the rumor, it’s also contagious)
We need to create ritual’s for ourselves. Create an environment with things that enrich us. Play music, light some candles, spend time with really good friends, and getting to know new people, read more books, eat healthy real food all of the time, but indulge every now and then in the sweets, don’t limit ourselves too much, limits aren’t boundaries meant to keep us in just mild barriers meant to keep us out of some things that we know will hurt us. Exercise, enough, but not too much and really sweat it out when we do. Stop caring so much about what other people think of us and putting that energy into what we think of ourselves and being true to ourselves and who we are. Use our sixth sense more often, our emotions. Trust our intuition. We need the people who are in the spotlight to start being more honest and human becausethey hold the huge responsibility of influence on our children. We need to be careful who we vote for. Better than that, vote for ourselves, we have that power. Don’t diet. We need to let out children fall down and scrape their knees, we need to let them get dirty, let them push some barriers out-of-the-way for themselves, let them fail, and reprimand them when need be. Inherently, as a species, it’s the only way we learn how to pick ourselves back up, how we learn (from our mistakes), how to clean ourselves up, and be responsible for our consequences.We have to do things that scare us, and not let fear stop us. Spend quality time with ourselves and being alone reflecting and asking questions. And when we’re alone we should relax into ourselves and not let other things distract or numb us, like chores or drinking, or gambling or eating while watching mindless T.V. that tells us it’s reality, that what we are seeing is in fact reality T.V. based on REALITY. (and people are addicted to that, this is why I don’t have a TV)
I don’t know about you, but if that’s reality it scares the shit out of me it blasts me off running in the opposite direction to create my own reality.
I’m starting to let go of all the things I’ve been hanging onto for no good reason. The things that are no longer in use by me and are just holding me down, but they might be useful to someone else right now. Step by step. I’m letting go of “things” and making more room and time, thus opening myself up to be available to the things that truly enrich my life.