Wednesday, April 05, 2006

letting go

I've mentioned before Don's suggestion that I was maybe here to learn to let go - until last night I'd always associated that theory with people/relationships. However in one of those 'life, the universe and everything' type conversations I realised that I had got to the point where, if need be I could walk out the door, leave everything behind and not come back for it.

I'm not saying I would, and the determindly practical streak in me has mentally packed my passport, birth certificate, purse, mobile/cell phone, a full waterbottle & some flapjack, a small amount of toiletries and at the very least some clean knickers - oh and a coat. But they are things that would just make whatever next easier. However the point of this is that the only things I wasn't prepared to leave behind I wear all the time anyway - my Granny's wedding ring and my taonga (pendant) from the Triennial which I have worn constantly since Jan '04 and still get quite panicky at the thought of it being cut off (those knots ain't shifting!). So if I did lose everything in a fire/earthquake/tsunami etc it would be sad but I know I could let go of the loss and start again. Ok so the chances of Len Lothian U Store in Edinburgh being devastated by fire AND me losing everything here are a tad unlikely but even so (and as Terry Pratchett says one in a million chances happen nine times out of ten...)

A connection I hadn't considered but that was suggested to me was that maybe this all fitted in to where I was spiritually, and with my life and where I'm at with it. I don't know what I'll be doing in just over a years time, where I'll be living, where the next lot of income will come from (my money won't last indefinitely) - but none of this bothers me, yet it is the kind of thing that keeps others lying awake at night. I have a strong belief that the right thing will turn up at the right time and in anycase worrying about it isn't going to solve anything!

In the bible study group just over a week ago we were looking at the following passage (it's in Matthew, Mark & Luke)

What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Message Bible translation)

The passage above resonated with me as twice in my life now I've walked away from a life which on paper looked as tho' I had everything I needed but was leaving me feeling 'spiritually empty', that I was being dragged further and further from being my 'true self'. Neither time was easy but second time was easier in that I had faith in myself that I could pull it off, and in the world to support me. Faith that my life wouldn't disintegrate into a heap at my feet, that help would be there - if I had the sense to ask for it - and that I'd feel far better about me as a person for making the change. Having faith in the greater scheme of things has for me become critical, for me it isn't so much as case of 'god will provide' but 'spirit will lead' - ie I have to listen and take up the challenge, it won't get handed to me on a plate.

For someone who has been an inveterate hoarder most of their life, that still has in a box all kinds of silly mementos and a now rather full folder of 'rosy glows'/Summer School magazines etc not to mention several boxes of photograph albums, to get to the point where I can honestly say I could walk away from it is really quite something. But I've realised that whilst the things help prop up the memories it is the memories themselves that are important, and even more so the people in my life. I still very much value what I have, and many things I have huge sentimental/emotional attachment to - I'm not about to chuck everything out. But to accept that I own my stuff, it doesn't own me - my life could go on happily enough without it - is incredibly liberating.

1 comment:

Sebastian said...

What a load of bullspit if you ask me. That's self serving, if i gave up my electric guitar or my stuff it wouldn't matter, as a matter of fact why didn't it matter when I smashed my first ever guitar which I got when i was 12 years old? because I am not materialist, and calling that let go would have been cynically self serving.

In times of real let go however I wouldn't mind being a quaker though, say this moment in time in my life, if there was a war it would very much improve my personal individual situation, why? because I know i wouldn't have to participate or become part of killing so i would still remain myself a pacifist, the circumstance wouldn't change my essence, if there was a war others would be able to relate or understand my pain and actually be supportive of me as an individual and my take on instead of questioning it and being insensitive about it, if i lost all the people I am surrounded by in my life at least i'd have a typical source of pain for others to understand it than just to shrug and say that's life, if there was a war i could die and still keep my original stance of treating others as i want to be treated, if i went through a war i could be completely hopeless about humans, people, love, and all that is redeemable about our species and not be called bitter for it, if there was a war i could watch all the persons i am not attached to just die away and still feel justified in my pain. Letting go would be much easier with a war and yet there's no war for me to die peacefully despite feeling in conflict with my own world, there's no war for me to be the pacifist, there's no war for me to be a survivor, there's only life for me to be whiny, bitter, and scarred by something that didn't happen for everyone and that therefore only those also hopeless survivors will understand. I'd much preffer a war so that if my innocence died a lot of people died with it despite my surviving, despite my having to live without having deffended myself killing others. There's so much i wouldn't have to do in a war instead the horrible things, the ones inside my bosom one has to kill just to survive. It would be tragic and others could bloody well see it despite the fact they weren't there.

THEN i could honestly let go and it wouldn't be self serving, it wouldn't be me being able to walk away from things and people and call it disagreement, dissent...then whatever was lost wouldn't be someting i could be proud of, but be truly humbled by because i would be worth less for it, as anyone who's had to take off their hope to let go of who they were, like a refugee...come to think about it, refugees are so lucky, they get to ask political asylum and get to stay in the country they run to...i can't do that here as there's no conflict. Yes there is, but the violented ones aren't outwardly.