I’ve been purging. I finally threw out all of my cards and letters from people that I had collected over the last 2 decades of my life. I’m a very sentimental person and I hang onto things that have been meaningful to me. I have been one to write a LOT of letters in my life. A LOT. But I keep being left with the same thought. If having so many things stored in my closet is bothering me, is holding onto these keepsakes to look at once a year (MAX) really serving my highest good? For me, that answer is no. When I picture my closet nearly bare, I feel more free and happy.
I spent part of my time today, OK maybe a large part, reading through some of my most valued cards and letters before saying goodbye. I came across words in a letter, from one of my best friends back in 2006, that made a huge impact on my life. I was struggling really badly with severe depression at the time and this friend was one of the very few people I had opened up to about it. It turns out that they had experienced depression in their own life and their words in this letter really soothed my then broken heart at the time.
Referring to lyrics from an Iron and Wine song, they write, “in song #6, he writes, “so may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten, sons are like birds flying upwards I’ve the mountain,” that hit home.”
The sunrise gives us all a new day and hope for a different experience than the day before when we’re really down in the trenches of depression. The fact that my friend responded with compassion when I told him I was depressed made all the difference to me. In fact, I credit him with being one of the people who saved my life in this lifetime. It feels sad to get rid of this important part of my history, but it’s really just a relic reminding me of things I’ve already assimilated. My memories of it live on. Every moment, every letter, every person, every place, every job is etched into the fabric of the life I have led this time around. Things can remind us of the good times, but the moments are ours whether or not we keep the things we associate with them.
The letters. I moved out of state for college, I then attended 3 different schools for my undergrad, and I traveled the country and lived away from loved ones, often in remotely wild and beautiful places. Sometimes snail mail was the only way I could consistently communicate with my friends and family. I had kept every letter I had received from people when I spent a summer in the backcountry of Alaska nearly 19 years ago now! I had all cards and letters including ones from the Mom of one of my best high school friends who died in our early twenties, I had letters from a friend’s Mom whom I adored who also died, I had letters from my high school sweetheart, cards and letters from my family, and best friends. At one point many years ago, I had just thrown all the letters in a container together and thought of them more as one item. I always thought about it as I’d get rid of or keep all of them. Every year, I open the box, read a few, and decide to close it and keep it all. Not this year.
My bedroom closet is pretty big. It stores my clothes, my camping gear, my sewing machine (I never use), photos/albums, Christmas decorations and a few small things from other holidays, a filing cabinet with loads of papers sorted, and a few containers of my son’s schoolwork starting with preschool, his awards, and a tote of photo albums and pictures. My spirit has been nagging me for the last few years to throw out everything except for my clothes, furniture and things I use regularly. Now I see why.
I really dug into this purge with a purpose to eliminate most of what’s in my closet. Wow. I was holding onto to so many things from my past. Like today, I found a binder in the filing cabinet with ALL of my dog’s paperwork. The adoption papers from the shelter where I got him, his paper collar that listed his supposed breed and age, vet bills. Wow. My Gus dog died in January of 2016! I didn’t even realize that I had kept all of that. I discovered all sorts of things of that nature, whole folders filled with things I no longer need from anywhere from about 10-20 years ago!!!
Here I have been consciously working to usher new energies into my life, without realizing how much I was clinging to the old. Energetically, our space only has room for so much energy, so when we cling to old energies and ones no longer serving us, we unwittingly prevent new energies from coming in. So this week, I have been releasing the old thoroughly. I am ready for all the new that this Universe has waiting for me!
Here it is, nighttime again and I STILL have things strewn about my bed and room. I have made so much progress today. I feel accomplished and lighter. I’ve dropped pounds of literal weight and who knows how much energy that was tied to it. I have more to do, but I feel more ready than ever for my next chapter.
My son opted to get rid of things that were no longer serving him last week too. He really lightened his load. His determination to clear the old was inspirational. And I was proud of myself for not going through the things he was parting with to see if there was anything I could hand down to my nieces (or keep.) I didn’t even look through the books he had outgrown and decided to donate! Now that’s growth! And genuine desire to release the old to make way for the new.
Clearing all of that old energy is palpable. You may have never thought about it that way before: that getting rid of stuff changes the energy of a space, but it does. Think of a time when you’ve purged a bunch of stuff from a room in your house or even from a dresser or cabinet. Did you keep going back to look at the cleared space? It’s because you could feel the shift in energy. It’s more light and free. Sure, we love to see organized space where there was once chaos, but I believe it’s the way the new space FEELS that keeps us wanting more of it. We are, after all, energetic beings surrounded by energy. The nuances affect us whether or not we are consciously aware.
Have you been feeling the same need to purge your belongings lately? How are you doing? How do you feel?
You can listen to Iron and Wine’s song “Upward Over the Mountain” HERE.
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