You can accumulate a lot of stuff in 10 years. Considering I’ve been on this planet waaaaaaay longer than that can give you a pretty good idea of how much unnecessary stuff I have in my life. I’m in the process of going through everything and really thinking about its importance. It’s not an easy thing to do and so far it’s taken an enormous amount of time and bandwidth. However, I’m realizing in order for me to move forward, I need to sort through the past. My past.
I’ve written about Yesterday’s Junk before, and have mentioned that for me there are three different types of clutter: physical, emotional, and spiritual. What I’m dealing with right now is primarily physical, however I am finding that the emotional baggage is popping open during the process. Let me tell you, there is no way to get any of that junk back in there again either… there is stuff everywhere! I have no choice but to face it which is exhausting.
Ten years ago, my life changed directions and I’ve been navigating my spiritual journey ever since. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it had been two years prior that I was forced to close the doors on a business I truly loved. It was a business, I assumed at the time, that determined my worth. It was a legacy I proudly built in the hopes that I could retire at a comfortable age and have something of value to pass on to my children. I was wrong in so many ways. A turn in the financial markets and the subsequent recession in 2009 had different plans for me. I won’t place all the blame there, but it was the final straw and I shut my doors right after my Christmas deliveries were complete, then I cleared my personal belongings out of there by the new year and rented a storage unit.
This is a picture of me doing the designer thing long after I closed my store. Apparently, you can take the florist out of the flower shop, but can’t take the flower shop out of the florist. Had I known that, I may not have spent the last 10 years denying myself the pleasure of looking back on the good times, or embracing my talent. Instead, I have spent that time taking everything from my past that I don’t want to face, or that I don’t have room for, and stuffing it in my storage unit. Compartmentalizing my physical, emotional, and spiritual “stuff” seems to be my MO. The process of going through it brings those three things together, and that, combined with writing a series about a mystery-solving florist, helps me to really look at what I’ve placed in those boxes. It is all finally seeing the light of day and I must admit going through it is extremely therapeutic. What has been necessary from the start is that I forgive myself for letting people down, something I would not have been ready to do until now. I’m finally ready.
I’m making room in my life for what makes me happy and it’s a process. The baggage of the past needs to be opened, aired out, and sorted. The cancer that changed my path gave me wings but I wasn’t ready to use them until now. For all the posts that I have made, for all the things that I have learned, the clutter in my mind, in my home, and in my heart, chained me. I understand that now. So, if I’m a little less present or a little more preoccupied than normal, I apologize. I have a lot of things to sort through and unload to make space for the things that really matter. And along the way, I may need to grieve the things that I avoided and forgive myself and others for the wrongs committed by the past version of myself. I am purging the physical items that no longer serve me and removing them from my life to make space for the positive things that I know are coming my way.
It’s a process. One that’s easy to avoid. One that is painful upsetting, embarrassing, even horrifying at times. While reading through some of the paperwork I eventually burned, I found it hard to understand how I could have gotten myself in such a terrible situation. The stress of those years was still there, in the almost 20-year-old paperwork I set aflame. But with all the crisis and shock I felt during the subsequent medical trauma, I also found hope. I also found resilience. If I’ve learned nothing else about myself in this life it is that I will find my way through. I might go off the path and end up deep in the woods and stuck ass-first in a bramble bush, but I do know eventually I will find my way. I’ve seen proof of it in the boxes I went through. The boxes I stuffed away because I didn’t want to think about them. It’s time to air those memories out, thank them for the new lease on life they’ve given me, appreciate them for making me the person I am today, and change my perception to one of gratitude, forgiveness, and grace. Above all, I need to let the bad things go.
Without going through this process there cannot be balance, the word I’ve strived to include in my life from the very beginning. It is a concept, in fact, that I wrote an entire series about. I had to dig a little deeper and in doing so I’ve touched down a scary place. But I’ve been here before, and I know I’ll find my way out. And when I do, I know I will be that much stronger. The bonus will be that I will have finally made space in my life for the things that matter.
Decluttering isn’t something that should be feared or avoided, it is a necessary part of the healing process. And as painful as it’s been revisiting a frightening time in my life, it’s also been one of the most rewarding. Because I see my beautiful resilience and stubborn nature that forces me, each time I fall to get back up and finish what I’m here to do. I’m finally on the right path, I know that now.
So, this is a post to anyone out there who has something in their life that they are avoiding doing, completing, or dealing with. Consider taking the time to break open and examine whatever it is because chances are, it’s holding you back. Decluttering is a process; it is a process that I procrastinated dealing with for over a decade. It was time, and I hope that if this message finds you struggling with something similar, that this post gives you the strength to make room in your own life for all the good things that I wish for you.
As always, thank you for sharing this journey with me, and for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. It means a lot. For anyone interested in what I write, please feel free to stay awhile and poke around on my website. I have a ton of content I’ve been developing over the years and I would love to get your thoughts on it.
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And for my Shorts and Tidbits:
As always, I hope this post finds you happy and healthy. Until next time! XO