Several–more than ten– years ago, I was in a difficult and intense relationship that was ending badly. Actually, the fact that it was not ending was really the problem. I have on occasion referred to this man as “my stalker,” since he would not go away. He suddenly died while he was on vacation in another state. Then I was pitched into a whirlpool of emotions, confusion, and adjustments. It was complicated by many factors.
I learned many things: the value of shock; my own strength; the kindness of strangers; the harshness of others; and how to be a deep feeling human being. It took a while to emerge from those emotions.
Then one day, I realized that I had integrated those feelings, emotions, and knowledge. I was whole again. Hearts knit back together with awesome strength and beauty. I realized that I had given away much of his stuff, burned some, and kept some. That night was the night to take the garbage out, so I got out a bag and gathered up anything that still did not belong to this whole me. I took it out to the curb and it was hauled away. It was an act of power and it was a spell.
Just because I was heart-whole didn’t mean I was seeking relationships. I’ve always been a little laggard in that area. A couple of new men had come into our circle and while there was a lot of interest in them around me, I didn’t really consider dating a situation that applied to me. At a gathering, a friend returned a deck of Tarot to me. Since there was a lull in the activities, I did a card reading for myself. The possible outcome was Ace of Cups. I rolled my eyes.
It was clear shortly afterwards that one man was very interesting and was interested in me. We did connect and that man is now my husband. A fabulous, passionate, fun love story then and now. When I tell the story of how we met, I often follow it with “See what happens when you take out the garbage.”
Our stuff is a potent teacher. George Carlin has a classic stand-up routine about stuff. This routine has a lot of wisdom, at least to me. I have a lot of stuff. I inherited a lot, bought stuff, and was gifted stuff. I spent a lot of money and time acquiring stuff. I spend a lot of time moving stuff, organizing stuff, and (not) using stuff. Lately though, I’ve felt I’ve got too much. I don’t want to move it and I’d rather spend my time doing other things.
In November, my husband and I had a lot of words about stuff. While it was a little impassioned, we came out with a constructive solution. We rented a dumpster. It was a wonderful, miraculous thing to happen. We cleared out a lot of broken things, a lot of things not used, and things that no longer served us. It was difficult. I had to make up some rules. A friend came over to help and before she came in the door, I told her THE RULE: you are not allowed to ask me if I’m sure I want to get rid of this. If it’s ready to go, I’m done. If I rethink my decision, it will go back in the house. That one rule was simple, effective and quite a blessing.
I still have a lot of stuff. I’m still passing along clothes, books, and other things. It’s easier now that I’ve been initiated into the wisdom of the dumpster. I feel like I have more space to expand, more time, and can relax more. I’ve had a corollary story about stuff, throwing out and dumpsters at my job. Obviously, the Universe believes this is one lesson that keeps on teaching! Ordinary things can teach us so much.
May all your lessons be gentle, ordinary, and deep!
I am a big fan of the show Clean House on the Style Network. It makes me feel good about my massive amounts of stuff. A lot of mine is put away and I do have clear floor space (when it’s not covered by dog). One of the show’s experts is the yard sale Diva, Trish Suhr, who is from Kentucky and retains a strong accent; her words are delivered in a raspy, husky voice. In a recent episode, they are helping a family who were from India to clean up their clutter. Because the lady of the house owned many, many saris, Trish decided to have a theme of “Bollywood” for the yard sale, saying, “Why do when you can overdo?!” It was delivered in this wonderful accent of rocks, hills, and hollers.
My rowdy goddess posse has adopted this as a theme and one of our sayings! Why do when you can overdo is the essence of rowdiness. Gaudy, bawdy, glittery fun. Don’t just do it, go over the top, over do it. It’s all about enthusiasm. Enthusiasm of the things that capture our hearts and imagination infuses us with the will and desire to achieve, to know more, be more, and find more. Enthusiasm is what drives us to immerse ourselves in what captivates us. It is an important part of a passionate, goddess-touched life.