"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need." ~Tao Te Ching My birthday has come and gone and so has a bunch of stuff I have been holding onto. I purged clothing, furniture, and electronics that I have been holding onto since the 90's. Let me give you some background (cue the violins):
I grew up on welfare living in the projects until I was about 14. We were financially poor but culturally, intellectually, and 'healthily' wealthy. I remember my best friend asking me if I was rich because we (my sister and I) were so well spoken and so neatly dressed all of the time. I remember being ashamed of being on food stamps, getting welfare cheese and living in the projects. There was a time in my life where, after getting dropped off from the school bus, I would walk along the side of the street with houses until the bus was out of sight then cross over to the projects. I remember being embarrassed when my mother would want us to buy $.05 gum with a dollar food stamp to get change in order to buy toilet paper or some other non-food item. I remember being made fun of when we would be in line to get our share of food from Welfare (such as cheese). I was lucky, very, very lucky. I grew up with a genius mom who was also an amazing cook. I never had McDonald's or any other fast food. We ate what she made from scratch. I honestly didn't know what packaged food tasted like until college. Our neighbors would come over to eat grapes and other whole foods instead of the Twinkies that their parents had stocked in the pantry. We were very lucky in many ways, however, the scars of feeling like there wasn't enough weighed on me and impacted my world to this day. I have had a habit of keeping things "just in case." Well, I am not in the mood to invite, "just in case" into my world anymore. "Just in case" takes up a lot of space!
That brings me to yesterday. My birthday. Over the past few years I have been letting go of items that I'd kept due to sentimental value or because they were in perfectly good shape. Waste not, want not! For example, a few years ago I bought a VitaMix for my birthday and have been loving on it ever since. Seriously, they are amazing machines. However, I still had a KitchenAide Blender and never really thought to give it up. I mean, it still works and you never know, I could need it! Right??? C'mon! Then there are the clothes that I have from my college days. I have held onto them because once every other year I pull them out of whatever box they are in to look at them and say, "oh, I remember blah blah blah" and then become nostalgic, which leads me to putting them back in the box under the bed for the next viewing a year of so later. It is a bit crazy.
So, I have been ridding myself of past "things" in waves. Every time I take a carload of stuff to Goodwill I feel a bit lighter. Each time I let go of something I felt was important something amazing enters my world. So, for this birthday I decided to give myself the gift of a clean slate. I still have more to let go of and am excited for it. It is this groovy journey towards freedom. The feeling is fantastic! I am creating space; physical and energetic space. The past clings to things. Letting things go truly allows you to free yourself to be even more in the moment.
So, I am creating space in my world. Space for my now, space for what is next and space to stretch out. I invite you to do the same if you so desire.
If anyone needs a blender, let me know :)
"Stop trying to hold onto your past, you can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one." ~Anonymous