Yesterday I cleaned out my piano bench. It was full of cassette tapes. We all know that cassettes have now gone the way of the 8-track and the video rental store so even though I still own a stereo unit that will play cassettes, I haven’t listened to most of them in years.
Time marches on. We adopt new technologies, try new ideas, and buy new things. It’s so easy to simply leave something on the shelf where it has always lived and close the door without dealing with it. We still own it but don’t really need or want to have it.
Last week I sat at breakfast with a darling friend who told me about what she called, “my injury”. This person went through a terrible ordeal and still suffers the consequences. My heart went out to her.
However, it struck me that she is not only dealing with the after-effects of the injury but still owns it as her own. She hasn’t let go of it and relegated it to the past as something that happened to her from which she can move on, rather than something that she still accepts as part of her. She still carries it around.
I spent last week cleaning out my mother’s house. Cupboards and closets were stuffed with items than I’m sure she’d forgotten about years ago. It’s different when clearing someone else’s effects than cleaning out your own closet skeletons, I get that, but boy, it has sure made me take a hard look at my own trailing clutter.
The cassette tapes all went out the door. With the piano bench empty, I had room for music books and sheet music. Then the ragged pages and coverless music books went in the recycling, and the good ones that I no longer want, go to the used bookstore. The stand where they’ve languished for more years than I care to count now goes too. (I never liked that thing.)
Possessions that I no longer want to own are moving out of my life to make more room for the objects that give me joy.
The incidents and events that have happened in my past are like those belongings in my house that are no longer necessary. They’ve made an impact and won’t be forgotten. But I don’t need them anymore so I no longer own them as mine. Yesterday’s stuff can stay in the past.
Today is a new day with new possibilities, new choices, and new chances for wonder and happiness. A light heart is not encumbered by yesterday’s burdens.
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