I have been paying attention to my people, watching the process of letting go, and I notice patterns emerging. I want you to imagine that these patterns are beautiful, like shadows cast through wrought iron on a sunny day. They are mutable and consistent at the same time. These past few years, I have been releasing my own treasures: physically, emotionally, mentally. There has been a downsizing of beloved people, pets, and material things. So many material things – costumes and props from past lives, pieces of history.
Some things were surprisingly easy to let go of, and some I still half-heatedly cling to. By some standards, a few of the items I have chosen to keep feel bizarre – there is a jug of probably-vinegar-by-now-kombucha (complete with scoby) on my counter top. It is laughable how difficult I find it to discard, but really, my reluctance isn’t about the kombucha. It’s about surrendering the idea that I will one day be the kind of superhuman person that not only lovingly tends to their own self-care by drinking probiotic rich beverages, but also single-handedly crafts those same beverages in an artisan, cost-effective manner. So, I stare at it, and it stares back at me. This humble bacterial soup is as rich in symbolism as it is in beneficial microorganisms, and it makes me think about the reasons we grasp some things so tightly: not because of the function they offer, but because of the implications they provide.
Think, for a moment, of the unused badminton rackets, sewing machines, tools hiding in workshops, garden sheds, and kitchens; imagine that, in addition to these things, we also carry the weight of the unlikely hope that we will one day play/cook/garden again, because we are unable to let go of the possibility.
Think further, to the elastic space that exists between possibility and security, in the context of relationships. These are opposite ends of a spectrum- the known and the unknown. They are threads of promise and stronger bonds of familiarity, and they can each bind us firmly to places, people, and things that don’t serve us at all.
While it is true that we all connect with and detach from each with different degrees of depth and ease, I would bet money that every one of us has had a relationship as useless and difficult to let go of as my rancid kombucha.
The point to all of this is simply to invite you to look at what and who anchors you, and be sure this is a place you wish to be anchored to. If “nature abhors a vacuum”, what do you suppose might fill the void when you leave your most challenging luggage behind?