Thursday, March 31, 2011

Packing Up

I have been putting off this part of our transition with all of the excitement I can muster about the newness of the life I am called to step into. Partly because I really don't like the idea of living out of boxes for a while. But mostly because I am very afraid of the struggle to let go of what isn't working for me anymore. Living simply is something I have felt called to in my life for a very long time, but there is an inner part of me that is terrified of how free and honest I could be if I truly did live into that call. What gifts and energies I might open up to use in God's work around me, and what might be the next step after giving up the stuff that is holding me back. So now, as I am invited to step into that call in a deeper way than ever before as part of following a larger, more fundamental call I find that I am both exhilarated and terrified. The physical weight that I need to lose (body clutter) is coming off faster than I thought possible, but I know that I am still stuck behind the clutter in my house and my life. Don't get me wrong, the beauty and special things that have no other purpose in life but to make me smile and feel good will most definitely be sticking around. But the other stuff - the stuff I hang on to in the fear that if I get rid of it I'll need or want it or disappoint someone - carries the energy of being stuck. It keeps me trapped in the fear of not enough. Of not being enough, not having enough, not able to give enough. Of wanting and not being able to have. The flip side of that is my new found and slowly strengthening ability to look at things, admire them, dream about how they would make my life more whatever, and then leave them where I found them until their true owner comes along. Unless it truly makes my life sing - like a flattering new pair of pants in a color and fabric I enjoy wearing is on sale for an incredible price just as my stock of wearable pants is down to one or two. It isn't that I am opposed to having things. But as I am packing my things they must pass a new test. Do I need it? Things like the vacuum cleaner fall into this category. It may not be beautiful and I may not smile each time I see it, but I certainly need it to keep my carpets clean. Do I use it? Our Rotisserie oven and upright freezer probably fall into this category. We don't really need them but we use them constantly. On the other hand, the terracotta chicken roaster that sits unused in the cupboard doesn't pass this test. Do I love it? Does it make me happy? The ultimate in the final whittling down of stuff. I have a lot of knick-knacks and heirlooms. Not to mention beautiful teapots and crystal. But some of that crystal and pressed glass has no meaning to me. They were bought at discount stores for no reason other than I wanted a vase or a bowl and didn't have any at the time. Those can go since they have been replaced by wedding gifts and heirlooms that my family has generously shared with me. Even some of the heirlooms will be returning to my parents, especially to my mom, for whom there is much more meaning attached than for me. So while the thrill of answering a deep call carries me forward, I am also dreading the sorting and separating. I know that there will be guilt about some of the things I plan on donating. There will be some anxiety about paring down to the things that actually mean something. In the end I know that it will be worth the work when my surroundings support and energize my husband and I instead of serving as a reminder of all of the stuff that we need to be taking care of.


Kimberly said...

Hello friend! It was so nice receiving your kind note on my blog. Glad you like the poem, too. You will be so happy once you've de-cluttered, trust me, I know. A friend let me read her book, "Clutter's Last Stand" that was inspiring. To get over missing things I loved but never used, I took a picture of it as a memory. Photos, whether printed or stored on the computer take up way less space. After a while, I even deleted the photo once I discovered I had discovered other treasures more valuable. Hoping you move is going smoothly.

Jeanie Campbell said...

Yay! Love the updates. I have so been where you are. Getting STUFF out of your life is the most freeing feeling! Congratulations!!!

michele said...

I think when you have less "stuff" you can appreciate it more. One tip I have found useful is to take pictures of the things you want to remember. It may not be so hard to throw it away. I wish you well on your journey.