Letting go doesn’t leave me empty, it leaves me open.
19 years ago, I was living in a housing unit that burned down and I lost all my material possessions from that time and a good chunk of memories from my life before. Six months later, I buried three of my foster kiddos who were killed in a car accident while skipping school and out joy-riding. I was reeling from the losses and while of course the loss of life far outweighs the loss of stuff…there’s always material stuff the Red Cross voucher can never replace.
Without knowing it, I cultivated a habit of holding on…to things, to people, to memories…long after it was healthy for me. Loss can do that, inspire us to hold tight, as though we have any control over not losing anything precious ever again.
I’ve learned that I can gather things I hold dear close to me, even things that mean very little, in the hopes of warding off loss. But I can’t control that. I’ve been learning to hold space for that truth. And learning to let go.
As I stand in my home today surrounded by piles of things I’m sorting through to take to the thrift store, or to the trash, a flood of feelings washes over me. There is lingering grief for what never was; grief over what will never be again; grief for the self I was and am no longer.
And even in the midst of the grief and the challenge it is to let some things go, I also feel relief. The burden of dragging all this stuff around with me for almost two decades as I moved back and forth across the country, it’s wearing on me. I’m tired of schlepping around all this weight.
And I want to make space to welcome new possibilities into my life.
So, this is a huge step in my trauma recovery and wellness maintenance. I am grateful to arrive at and celebrate the moments of movement in the direction of thriving. I share this with you for several reasons:
- Therapists are humans who have things to heal and recover from too. I’m walking this path, doing this work too;
- If you struggle with these things, you’re not alone;
- If clutter and grief and trauma and depression and anxiety are all piling up in your life, let’s have a conversation. We can sort through it together. Let’s face the heap together.
Contact Jennifer at: 210-382-4155 or firstname.lastname@example.org