Making Space by Robin Trimingham
We are still in the throes of a long hot summer here on the rock and as I find ways to keep cool I find myself looking for ways to make space in all areas of my life. It’s a time when keeping the curtains drawn out of necessity to guard against the heat I find myself reassessing things in the diffused light inside my house. A time when I am drawn to closets that I have been avoiding picking up objects and assessing their worth with a new-found objectivity.
There is a funny thing about sorting through the objects that clutter your life – you can’t do it without making judgements regarding your previous decisions regarding what to keep and what to toss. Obviously, if it made it into the closet in the first place, you either deemed it to have special value, or future purpose, or perhaps it was associated with something you were not ready to deal with – as if looking at it, or parting with it meant you were done with (or disavowing?) that part of your life.
But does discarding a pair of pants that have not fit in three years really mean that you will never be thin again? Perhaps, or perhaps not. It depends on your outlook. Tossing out your gut busting pants might simply mean that you won’t be wearing that particular pair of pants again – it does not need to mean that you will never weigh less or wear that size of clothing again. The thing is, if you don’t give up clinging to the idea of a you that no longer exists and make peace with that fact, then you and your irritating ill-fitting trousers are just sweating together in a dark closet, and you are not making way for the possibility of new you yet to be.
Deep huh – and that’s just the baggage tied up in one piece of clothing!
Now imagine if you applied the same logic to that box of family photos or mementos of a failed relationship that you have been avoiding dealing with? I’m not suggesting that you should ditch the photos of that family member that you could never please, but I am suggesting that you finally acknowledge the tightly held angst that resides in some of the stuff that you have been clinging to and finally give yourself a break. Perhaps your mother or father couldn’t appreciate life from your perspective way back when, but what if he or she could see the person that you have become? Would they even recognize the you of today? Would they still tell you to listen to them instead of having the confidence to believe in and listen to yourself? That hardly seems likely, as he or she would be older too and no doubt wiser for their experiences and secretly very proud of the new you of today (because all parents are secretly proud of their children and only want the best for them no matter how old they get – some of them just are not good at expressing themselves emotionally).
But I digress, and there is a pile of random stuff on the carpet still waiting to be discarded and tomorrow a new me waiting to be discovered. What will you be waking up to?
By Robin Trimingham