It’s so easy to distract from what we should not. It’s so easy to turn the page when we, instead, need to take a minute to grieve. My best friend died on my father’s birthday in 1999. She stood up … Continue reading
Allow for S P A C E~
When so much has occurred, when a life has crumbled, when we find ourselves in transition it is not wise to be so quick to rebuild and configure. It is not wise to fill our lives up with perhaps more of what we don’t want or might burden us in a new life.
For instance my daughter met a dog at the humane society. Its tail between its legs. Its loneliness hooked into hers and she wanted him. She wants to fill her life up, and it would begin with this lonely dog. From here she would need to move out of our temporary residence and into a place that supports this dog and the income from her new job. If this occurred, then she would build a life around taking care of the dog: who will take care of it when she is at work, for example. It will also need vet appointments, dog food and attention.
I tell her from my own experience not to be so quick to fill her life up. I tell myself the same as I look around and see the emptiness from years of a former life that has crumbled and a new life that has yet to begin. Emptiness is uncomfortable for many of us. When I taught classes on clutter, I’d ask the participants to imagine themselves in an empty room. I asked them to pay attention to how they felt in this room. What were their impulses, if any? Did the mind fill the room quickly with things and people or did the room stay empty?
Some people felt relief in the empty room. But more often this exercise brought anxiety. There are unconscious impulses inside of us, which paint a life. If my daughter were to get the dog she would be rescuing a lonely animal, and this is a heartfelt sincere impulse. But, also she would believe that this dog was also rescuing her own loneliness, which is a deep and unconscious impulse, which cannot be satisfied, except temporarily, from anything from the outside world. There are women who have babies because they think they will finally have someone to love them. As those of us who have or have had babies know, we must love them and fulfill their needs and not the other way around.
Another example: my mother, during a time she was losing her home, had me over to help her go through her things. In her bedroom was her chaise lounge. In her former life, where she had lots of money and traveled, this chaise was filled with outfits that would soon be going in her suitcase for one of her excursions. This chaise was always filled. But, with little money left, this chaise was filled only with pillows- lots and lots of throw pillows.
Well, when I looked at her chaise lounge, knowing that she was in transiton and cannot travel as she once did, I see this as an opportunity. I see her on that lounge, reading and enjoying time with herself—perhaps imaging her next chapter. Seeing this image of her, I took the throw pillows off so she could actually sit down. Within minutes my mother found the pillows and put them back on.
In my mind, she could not handle seeing her travels and former way of life going away. She couldn’t see a future beyond this. She didn’t want the space or the possibility of something new. There are many difficult twists, tests and turns in a life, and this one I am personally witnessing is one of the more difficult: to allow this space of emptiness. To see the former life for all that it was in order to understand and make some peace and then to sit and be still silently in that space without allowing our impulse to fill the space.
If we do not allow for this space I can gaurantee one day we will stop and notice our life and see that once again it is filled with obligations, things, people and expeirences that are not enhancing and enriching our lives, but merely filling it up and keeping us stuck and stale.
Spring is on its way, and with it new life. During this transition, it is wise to allow for space. To be thoughtful. To listen and pay attention and embrace the emptiness between what was and what will be. And perhaps, someday we will find all there is, is this S P A C E.
Let’s allow for some freshness, to reawaken us—however long that takes.
The Soul Reporter
This month I am taking names of people interested in one-0n-one sessions, support groups, and classes. The focus of these services is what I wrote about here: taking an investigative look into our impulses—both the conscious and unconscious ones. As we explore, we will gain clarity about who we are, where we’ve been and where we are going next. It is an opportunity to invite in more space in our cluttered lives.
If you are interested, please fill out the form below and I will contact you shortly. (All sessions, groups and classes done online unless in the Twin City area).