Sunday, February 15, 2009

What Are You Holding Onto?

"We fear it is all we have. Even its sufferings are familiar and we clutch them because their very familiarity is comforting...Yet so long as we aim at the maintenance of this present self, as we now conceive it, we cannot enter the larger selfhood which is pressing for life." ~Daniel Day Williams

Last Sunday I had an eye opening conversation with a friend. And funnily enough I now realize that the Universe was preparing me for it by putting Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life literally in my hands the week prior. I love Louise Hay, in her books she ties together how our beliefs, conscious or unconscious create our life; either physically through our health, financially through our check book, or in the relationships we attract. After reading her work you truly come away believing you are the master of your own fate.

I had flipped through this book at a friend's home a while ago and in the last month I realized I wanted my own copy. While walking down the street, four weeks ago I noticed a pile of books someone had discarded and right on top of the pile in excellent condition was You Can Heal Your Life, a fancy illustrated version, no less. As one friend said, clearly the Universe wanted me to get going with healing my own life! I was struck with the chapter on clearing out the old. She strongly recommends getting rid of clothing and knick knacks that are no longer serving us. If there has been no use of it in a year -she says LET IT GO! She says that we need to make room in our lives for the Universe/God/Goddess to be able to come in with the new and or needed.

Since reading it I became anxious to clean out my closets. And after doing so I felt much lighter, but this was just an appetizer to what lay ahead.

Back to last Sunday's conversation; I mentioned casually to a friend who is knowledgeable about Feng Shui, that I had 5 boxes in the basement of my apartment that contained papers my mom had had from 15-20 years ago. These papers have been a big part of my life, even in the years when my family and I were without a home I was diligent about keeping these documents safe. My feelings as the years went on were that these papers might eventually explain the reason for those very difficult years.

When I mentioned this to my friend she stopped the conversation cold, and looked me straight in the eye and asked me, "Are you telling me that you have 5 big boxes of papers that represent all the pain and lack of those years sitting on the foundation of where you live?" I was stunned with the way she put it. Yes, I replied. And I noticed a lot of resistance coming up over the idea of getting rid of them. I started to defend why I kept them, what they meant, what power they might indeed hold. The further I defended them the more I began to realize that as scary as it was, their time to be cleared out of my life had come.

The interesting thing is that I was approaching the anniversary of my mother's death. Friday, January 30th would be six years. And letting my mother go on many levels has been a significant process for me and my healing in the last six years. I realized that to let these papers go was exactly the next step in my releasing her.

And as quick as that, I just knew I had to do it. I raced home after that conversation and brought each box up out of the basement. And as I climbed up the five flights of stairs five times with each box I began to realize the enormity of the task before me. With or without a shredder this was going to take a long time. I began to wish I had a bonfire to put them all in. Now that I had made my decision, I really felt the weight of them and I could feel myself growing anxious and impatient with their presence. Now that I wanted them gone just how was I going to shred or tear them all up properly without it taking every waking hour of the entire week?

Well the Universe served up my solution. The next day as I walked in mid-town I noticed a garbage truck on 51st street between Lexington and Park Avenue. It was an independent carting company so I thought let me ask the guy crushing up stuff at the back if he has any ideas about where I could discard all these papers. (A side note: this truck was actually outside the side door to my church, St. Bartholomew's and just off that entry is the memorial chapel where my mother's ashes are laid to rest.)

I ask "Mario" where one can take stuff to be either incinerated or safely discarded so that one doesn't have to shred. Mario asked, "How many boxes of paper do you have?" I said, "Five good size boxes." He then asked where was I located in the city. I replied 84th and First. "Five boxes, that ain't that much." Mario says. "I think I can fit them in this truck easily enough. How about when I finish here in midtown I swing past your place and you can throw them in. I leave the city and go straight to the dump." And so he did! I had my own personal garbage truck pick up the boxes outside my apartment at 7 pm on a Monday night -less than 28 hours after I made the decision to let them go.

As I watched those boxes get crushed right before my eyes I cried as I watch them disappear, knowing that I was letting go of the old and making room for the new. It was scary and beautiful all at the same time.

As the truck drove off I started to walk away but something within said to turn around and look at the truck one last time. And for the first time I noticed the name of the carting company: Independence.

I ask you now, as we start the new year, where is it in your life that you need Independence? What do you need to let go of? What do you know is not serving you anymore? Is it a relationship, a belief or resentment? It might be something tangible or esoteric. Whatever it is open your hands, and release it. You might be scared; you might be so comfortable with the weight that you can't imagine life without it. Trust that the Universe will be there for you - to catch it from your hands and replace it with love.

You will find yourself lighter and freer. And your heart and your home will then have room for the abundance that wants to come to you. And come it will.