Since we have lived in our new house we have made a very conscious effort to start simplifying our lives and our needs. We have a small house, quite old and not the most luxurious house we ever lived in, but we both feel that this is the house of our Roots, that somehow we have been allowed to move back in time and get back to who we once were and how we once lived.
Because space in the house is strictly limited, we had to start looking at all our possessions and systematically remove those we no longer needed or wanted. For me, this mainly involved removing endless clothes from the one wardrobe I now have. To be fair, because I had lost so much weight, a lot of those clothes had not been worn for more than two years, but I have moved with all these clothes several times before. Half of them I did not recognize at all. So all clothes that did not fit, either too small or too large – had to go, that was the easy part. The harder part was removing clothes that did fit but had become ‘inappropriate’ for me – they were clothes that would have looked great on a woman 20 years younger than I – and though I do not want to go into ‘frumpy’ mode just yet (if ever), they had outlived their usefulness. That did hurt, not much, but there was an uncomfortable awareness that I too was getting older, a fact that is so obvious we hardly ever think about it. Inside I still feel so much younger, but my body is showing some signs of wear and tear, and so my ‘juvenile’ clothes had to go.
The next part was the hardest – the ‘sentimental’ clothes. Whilst dealing with those clothes I remembered who had bought them for me, or where I was when I bought a particular item and how I wore it for the first time. I remembered the feelings those clothes had evoked at times in my life, which party I had been going to and who was there, how the party had progressed and how I felt the day after it. All those memories somehow wanted to impel me not to part with those clothes, just yet. So I put the ‘emotional’ clothes in a large plastic bag and then put the bag into the courtyard under the little roof – they were still there, but no longer inside. I vowed I would look at them again some other time!
All clothes that I had been able to let go, with the exception of the ‘bag of emotional clothes’ were taken to a Charity shop, and it gave me great joy to know that not only would they make some money for the shop, the clothes themselves would be worn or used again.
So at the end of the exercise in clearing out the clothes, I was left with four pairs of jeans, a half dozen T-shirts, a pair of tidy trousers, socks, underwear, a few long-sleeved shirts and sweaters and one neat skirt. All clothes now fit in the one wardrobe in my bedroom.
We then set to work on tools and things that we have collected over the years and managed to put together a sizeable box of oddments, which again were taken to the Charity shop. Great, so much more space in our little house.
Then the rains came – not for long, just a couple of days with a reasonable downpour and then the sun was shining again. Because I was not working I decided that I would now look at the bag of ‘emotional clothes’ and try and see if I could let them go as well. I opened the bag and all the clothes in it were covered in green fur! Nothing to be done with them apart from put them in the garbage containers. That is when a Truth dawned on me – these ‘emotional’ clothes were now rubbish – they could have been used by someone else but by my attachment to them I had spoiled them totally and now they were just so much mouldy old mush. Better had I let them go in the first place and they would have given joy to someone else.
Lesson learned – if it does not serve you, let it go. Stop being attached to things (and your own story about those things) – the memories can still be with you without the physical evidence. By being still somehow bound to my emotional baggage I had turned it into rubbish. This lesson I am now using for my emotional history as well – making more space there too.