When I Let Go…

by Jennifer on August 13, 2018

Friday, August 6th, 2018

I dreamt about my grandmother’s house again. The small home that seems to sprawl in my mind…the drawers and cupboards spilling their contents out if even slightly provoked. The entire building felt like a time capsule, since it was hard for my grandmother to let almost anything go. So it has both a harmless and a bit of a haunted energy in my mind. I loved to explore the aging contents of her home, squirrelled away always in case of some looming winter because of the hardships she grew up with, but I also wince a little at the memory of dust and mothballs and papers that nearly crumbled in your hands.

It’s all because of the box. My dreaming about grandma’s house.

You see, I have become incredibly sensitive to the generally-benign fungal breakdown of old papers and books. For a writer this has been a heart-breaking realization, but also a great gift. After all, it led me to my closet. I had a closet filled with every bit of paper and old book of writing from my entire life…as a scribe and a record-keeper I had a love affair with these old books of my poems, and letters, and stories I had written. I thought I would look back on them when I was 80, but instead I am having to face them all much, much sooner and make hard decisions about them now.

It was actually because I tried to meditate nightly for a year. I meditate in a lot of ways, but usually not as a daily seated practice and wanted to see what it would be like…but the smell of my closet bothered me too much for me to meditate in my special place. I literally owned a closet full of things that were making me sick…even if they were dear to me. That knowledge, along with the true blessing of finding The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, gave me what I needed to finally declutter down to the bones of everything I owned. Even though I am not quite done and have some of the hardest last items ahead of me, I have no words for what it has given me to do this process.

But I never thought I would give up the box.

The box doesn’t seem all that special I guess. It is just a wooden box that had a scene of a house in a wood pasted onto it which had already half fallen away when I fell in love with it. I found the box when I was a little girl, up on top of one of grandma’s wardrobes. It had the most beautiful antique heart-shaped lock on it, and I just knew it would hold all of my most sacred things. Grandma, not famous for letting go of things as I mentioned, gave it to me anyway. I was the happiest little girl I could have been.

I put all my most special things in it. And as the rare little girl who started her calling as an Oracle at a young age, I had many sacred things indeed. I even kept my crystals in it, and, once I started giving my childhood readings, I always, always brought the box with me so my healing things would be ready for the session. I adored my box.

And I kept it all these years. I would look at it and feel joy rush through me. When I reached the time to begin going through sentimental items I decided to go through the box when I was doing the rest of my crystals, but just for a cursory glance since I was sure I would never want to let anything in that special box go.

And then, I opened it…and even through the mask I was wearing I could smell it. It smelled like death. It was the most horrible-smelling thing I had yet found. Don’t get me wrong. Someone else would say it smelled perhaps like any old antique, but to my system it smelled like poison. Tears burst from my eyes. I knew there was no way on earth that I could keep it.

Life was showing me what to let go of, whether I wanted to or not.

And of course I know the truth. I know I will still be that little girl who gave readings even without the box. I will still be that child who knew everything that she believed from deep within, and lived from that knowing. I am still that girl every day now. I am the girl who held to that knowing, even through great hardships…just as I do now.

No, there wouldn’t have been anything wrong with keeping the box in different circumstances. It was a very lovely and special thing to keep…magical to me like a living memory I could still feel under my fingers. With so many memories from past lives that I can’t have mementos from, I have cherished things like the box even more. But life wanted me to let go of the box, and showed me in the clearest way she knew how. So, let it go I shall.

I could get another box. I could fill it with all my special things now. But I feel I am done with boxes. I have loved them so, but now I don’t want my home to be a time capsule like my grandmother’s. I want my home to be an open window where the wind can blow through, and I will keep my crystals on that windowsill.

And perhaps I will be more that little girl than ever when she is not represented by that box.

If I threw it in the ocean, (which I would not do) perhaps the mermaids would keep their special things there. But I would no longer do the same. Keeping some special things can give one wings, but keeping too many special things can keep one from flying.

I suppose, like the little mermaid herself, I created a beautiful cavern of wonderful things that set my heart aflame. But in my story it is me that has to let it all go back into the stream of life. It is me that has to deconstruct the temple of my past joy.

Again, please don’t misunderstand and think I will keep nothing (there are many things I will still keep, or scan), or that I am saying anything one keeps is holding them back. Oh goodness, no. I am just telling you what happened to me, when I began to have to release things I loved like stars falling through my fingers, and knew it must be time to create a new night.

And in many ways my journey is just beginning. In the past two or more years I have decluttered absolutely everything in my house but the very last items…sentimental paper items. They all fit in two huge plastic tubs and I can see them when I turn my head to the left…right now. They are waiting for me, promising that the journey will have challenges and require great courage…but will also bear great treasures, and will surely set me free.

In the dream at my grandmother’s house I got overwhelmed by the musty smells and needed to get outside to find some fresh air. But as soon as I arrived, looking down at the familiar dried grass and sand I stood on every summer growing up, I remembered the ticks. The ticks that most likely gave me Lyme Disease, which has marked my life in ways that are impossible to describe.

But there are phenomenal gifts that come from a mark that deep.

There is no way I could have brought back the medicine at the bottom of the dark ocean where almost nothing lives if I hadn’t gone there myself, and while I rail against it on the nights I still backslide a bit on my long healing journey, I wouldn’t change anything about the years it has taken.

For if I had found an instant cure long ago, there are so many things that wouldn’t have happened that I would never trade for anything…things that will bless the rest of my amazing life. Like the opportunity to live in a home that feels like an open window, and not like a mausoleum of my past…like the chance to live with things that leave me bright, the chance to live light.

And yes, some of this is consolation for my becoming “allergic” to things I love. But it is the best consolation I could ask for. And while my two bins of old paper still don’t smell good when you pull the papers out and open them up, overall the bad smell is completely gone from my room, and every room in my house. And this was all just yet another way for me to listen to my body, and for her to show me what was right for me.

And that has been the deepest gift of this long slow healing journey…the gift I never have to give away or let go of, because it lives inside me. I was so profoundly attuned to my body before, but now for the rest of this life, there is no distinction between she and I at all.

We are one wave. One pulse.

And I would give up all the boxes in the world for that, and so much more.

Here’s to feeling light and free, because we let go of what we thought we never could…and in doing so kept everything we could ever truly want.

Love,

Jennifer

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