Even before the beginning of Lent I had been practising the art of letting go; in fact before Christmas I cleared an entire box ( large box) load of DVD’s and another of CD’s. They have been collected over a number of years, and some were the result of the collecting habits of a family of 7 all ending up in my possesion! My children were invited to take what they wanted, and the remnants, which were substantial have now found their way to a charity shop!
I have also begun ruthlessley thinning my book collection, 3 book boxes and a bag full will be finding their way to my ex-husband, and yet there were still more. I have sorted out dozens of Bibles and took them to the Comfort Zone Community where they have been quickly snapped up by folk there, the spiritual hunger for scripture is alive and well among the vulnerable and poor in Blackpool. Other books, devotionals and reflections have met with the same fate, and again were well recieved. As for me I am left wondering about my capacity to hoard things!
This weekend, with the help of my eldest son I began the task of sorting through the loft, this turned out to be a veritable technology grave yard, and we soon filled the back of my car (which is not tiny) with old printers, keyboards, phones, stray chargers and more, these have gone to be recycled, some to local groups but most to the local recycling centre as it is really not redeemable in any way.
Today I have continued with thinning the loft, and have 3 whole boxes of rubbish to go to the tip, so many old papers and things stored for no apparent reason. In addition the Comfort Zone will benefit with the gift of 6 sleeping bags, I had no idea I had 6 sleeping bags in the loft!
I have also sorted through about 20 years worth of journals, and to the dismay of some I have decided to let them go. I have looked at some and taken some imporant landmarks, but I am still letting go and here is why; I am letting go of years worth of beating myself up and feeling inadequate, years of angst and an inability to love myself because I felt unworthy and afraid. I am no longer that person, I am learning to love myself, imperfections, warts and all! I think the key is a shift in perspective, I now know myself made in the image of God and called god by the lover and creator of my being, I can accept that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, an intricate mix of mind, body, spirit, heart, soul and emotions. I am good not bad at my core and that gives me hope, because of that I can look myself in the eye with love, and that is a radically freeing experience.
I now accept that God loves me for his sake, he created me and loves me through all of my brokenness, that Jesus reveals the love and heart of God to me, overcoming death and opening the possibility that in Christ I can do the same. Hope is growing in me because I am freed from any need to earn my salvation, I am already and always treasured by one who quite simply is love! I have nothing to prove, and because of that I am letting go.
As I continue sorting and clearing I am very aware that this is not simply a physical, but also an emotional and spiritual exercise. I have carried many burdens through life, many of them unnecessary and frankly some of them damaging not only to me but also to those around me, only in taking the first steps is that becoming clear. and that is good so I will persevere.
Perhaps the biggest gain is letting go not only of false images of myself, but also of false images of God and others…
It may be a long road, but it is one I will persevere with; my next challenge will be the garage and sheds…. Lord have mercy 🙂