I’m checking into the challenges of keeping focus and commitment during this Lenten season. There are some areas where it looks as if I have made the opposite decision than the one I am living. The shopping has just gotten out of hand. No matter how I attempt to justify my behavior, the bottom line is, it has continued. Thankfully, during the last week I came across yet another blog on decluttering and accepted the challenge to take fifty things out of my home every day. Just the thought was enough to push up massive feelings of possessiveness and defensiveness around my collections and stuff. Stuff – there is a lot of it. So much in fact that I have not viewed much of it for years. This became an ideal place to start. I let go of things I have not seen in years. If I have managed to live all this time without picking them up, I can probably let them go. I have hundreds, maybe nearly a thousand books and even though I always start there with letting go, I tend to pick up more along the way. This week, I let go of the books I have held on to because they were given to me by someone special, even though I have no interest in reading them. I gave away books that I have multiple copies of. I have them for that very reason, to give them away. I save wine and liquor bottles and have had a wine tree in my front yard for a few years now. I decided now is the time to take it down. Mostly, I was looking for a creative way to recycle my bottles and next I liked the idea of leaving your “whine” outside the door. The concept is that I take things out of the house for good. Some things can just go to the trash. Others are on the curb for recycling, and in my trunk I have donations to the local “wardrobe.” As I type, I know there are a few books my neighbor will appreciate. If clutter is an issue, this is a useful way to review what we are holding onto and perhaps why. Some items hold memories and feelings; others are just hanging around and serve us no purpose. How much more freedom we have when our attention is free of useless entanglements.
My relationship shifted from non-sexual to non-romantic. More continues to come up to be processed and as we move through this phase our time together is either task/activity directed or drifts into that foggy emotional space that is up for clearing. I am open to all possibility and freely recognize when our interactions are neither interesting nor amusing. I have begun to ask the questions that lead me to my deepest truth. “What am I really afraid of?” “What do I feel the worst outcome could be?” “Am I willing to be with what is?” There are the words we speak and then there is the deeper meaning we are hoping no one really gets. Sometimes, there are people who really are paying attention and noticing what we are hiding. Those are my answers and I will not wait to be called out. When you notice who I am, I hope it is not new information to me.
I am re-reading Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. Many years ago, when I was deeply in love, my then grrlfriend explained that she was not the one and neither was I. She shared that we were together for a greater purpose. I was heartbroken and thought sad beyond repair, until she shared her tapes of Marianne Williamson on “Romantic Delusions.” The most beautiful thing about that relationship was the resource she shared with me, the moments in prayer and meditation, and the freedom to live and grow both inside and outside our relationship. Years later, I still hold this as my most prosperous experience. Not that I didn’t continue to grow with each successive experience, but from here I has a framework, a guidepost to find my way. My life and heart opened in a way I had not known so that I could continue to move on and be happy as a choice.
When we are completely happy with ourselves and how well we are living our live, we have the freedom to show up my clearly and presently for others. While it might look like we need to have friends to hear our angst and share our burdens, what we really need is a long study in the mirror with the hard questions. We need to come to ourselves. Wake up. This is the day. Now is the time. Continually waiting to be rescued from the holes we have dug is delusion. If sorrow is all you think you have, stand on that and climb out. Friends reach out a helping hand. Friends remind us that the light still shines, but our friends cannot make us open our eyes and see. That’s where we show up, for ourselves.
In Love and Light, for Light casts out all darkness.