It is totally addictive.
Once we start letting things go, once we start loading the car and heading to Salvation Army so that our things can find a new home, once we start to purge, it is hard to hold onto anything.
Ella Fitzgerald would sing, “Don’t fence me in”. I want to tell our stuff, “Don’t tie me down”. Our first purge items were our books. We had about 20 shelves full of them. We got down to one shelf of books.
I imagine the look on someone’s face when they find one of my favorite things in the thrift store. I think about the good work that the Salvation Army does with their rehab programs. I look at the empty shelves and think, “I’m Free!”
And once we start letting go, then everything we own starts to lose value. Well, maybe it is more accurate to say that the value of freedom starts to become more important.
With abundance, it is rare to feel hungry. It is also rare to really feel free.
Years before, after I came out as a gay man, my wife and I separated. It was a horribly painful time, breaking up a family. And, I remember what it felt like to start over. To basically leave the house with my clothes and a couch. To go to garage sales and actually need most things that I saw. To build a new home from scratch. With some guilt, I admit that it was exhilarating.
We all experience great suffering in our lives. I would never want to relive those dark moments. Nor do I want to forget the growth and healing that came after. It feels good to again learn that the possessions that surround me do not make me who I am. In fact, they can make me complacent.
Know what? I think I will dig deeper and let more go.