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  • Writer's pictureHelen Gardiner-Parks

Clearing out stuff for healing



Ed Robertson on Unsplash

What do you think of this: conversations as spider webs spreading far and wide and occasionally catching a tasty morsel as they meander?


At a glorious picnic recently, I met someone new. She was listening to a mutual acquaintance share about his junk collection business as I joined the little group and we all started talking about the energy of stuff.


“There’s a cord attaching you to every item in your house,” the new person declared.

Yes! I feel that and I feel the freedom and lightness I experience when I get “rid” of stuff. I am releasing, I am cutting the ties that bind.


It got me thinking about the stuff in our house. Why is it so easy for me to accept the dead energy, the energy suckingness, of the piles that have accumulated over the years? Why do I allow it to become part of the landscape? Why do I not notice it until someone is coming to visit? Why do I choose to operate over it? Why do I do that even with piles I have actually sorted and designated for other places/people?


Case in point: I have uniform clothing from four years ago which is intended for people at the school one of my children attended. I moved it to a rack on the back of a door where it interferes with closing the door, but there it stays perpetually inconvenient; I haven’t taken the next step. Likewise, I have boxes of books for The Homeschool Room which have languished for months in the hallway to the garage; I haven’t taken the next step.


The uniforms are a bit of a mystery, but I know how to drop the books off; I’ve done it before. So, what’s the hold up? My mind labels the job as complete because I’ve done the sorting and have committed to releasing the items? I have not actually released them, though, and the comment about cords, ahem, struck a chord. I haven’t been ready to cut the cords attaching me to my children’s past experiences; I haven’t been ready to release their childhood “innocence” and accept that I am so much less a part of their lives now. At a subconscious level I believe that holding onto school uniforms and books connects me with my kids and will allow me to keep them safe.


Hmm. Yes.


When they were with me physically, when they used the uniforms and books, I had an illusion of control over the trajectories of their lives. I believed I could keep them safe and happy.


Now that they’re moving on my influence is less tangible and I have fewer illusions about my ability to keep them safe and happy. That hurts my heart and there’s precious little I can do about it. I embrace them from afar, I listen and support when called upon and I release them to their lives; release them to the wide world and a universe which, I believe, does have their backs.


Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. (Khalil Gibran, On Children)

They were never mine, of course, but the fearful part of me, the ego part of me, thinks they are and that if I hold them close I can guarantee their safety and happiness.


Ah, the beauty of babies; I can see them as pure potential, as 100% possibility, as forever safe, happy, thriving, as they gurgle, coo, and kick their legs. When they grow and suffer the slings and arrows of “outrageous” fortune I subconsciously experience powerlessness and despair even as I go with the flow of my children fledging the nest of our home.


I am loving this awareness. I am holding onto tokens of past happinesses, ephemera from the fleeting moments which trumpet more loudly than the concomitant challenges. There were challenges at every stage, but at least I knew the challenges, I could imagine that I saw the depths and edges of the challenges and could create a safe container for those experiences. I hold onto books and clothes which do not serve anyone in this house in order to delude myself into thinking I am connected with, and protecting, my children. As a result, I live with stuck energy.


I am committed to releasing it. Think of the freedom! Think of what will flow in as the energy is uncorked! Think of the joy of knowing someone else will benefit from the bounty. What a gift for all of us; what a win-win.


I get to have it happen this week; come hell or high water. Hell yeah.


Here’s to freedom, y’all, and the tasty morsels of a meandering conversation.


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