The purging process is interesting. Much more so this time than the last.
There is a different thought process this time. One that has surprised me. Detaching emotions from things. This has been a hard one for me in the past. Things tend to help trigger memories for me that might otherwise be lost. Perhaps this marks a growth point....finally accepting that my brain injury will simply mean that some moments aren't meant to last for me but a memory meant for someone else to hold. There is a freedom in simply being in the moment and not desperately trying to create something that will last. There is something beautiful about not trying to secretly put the pieces together in my head, pretending to remember what someone is talking about and instead....simply asking them help me remember.
The first wave of the purge resulted in filling the back of my husbands car. Books, movies, dishes, clothes and perhaps the item that surprised the most people....my wedding dress. Yep. It's gone. My daughter stripped off a piece of the lace from the waist and that was all she wanted to keep.
How did I do it? I started asking why. I asked what the real value was....but NOT the monetary value of the item. The REAL value, to me, is in the space. The real reason I'm getting rid of things. To be free of them, to claim space and peace and less to take care of. To free my mind of the mental clutter objects hold.
So when I went through the sheets I kept only two summer sets and two winter sets for each bed. No more. I went through towels and got rid of over 50% of them after finding that I had two stacks that had not been touched in over 2 years. We now have roughly 8 bath towels for our family of four. I've now moved several old towels into the laundry area to be re-purposed for rags and dog baths. I replaced several washcloths that had gotten old and yucky with some that were on sale for $4 for a stack of 4 and purchased 2 new bath towels to round out the number of towels kept to be of equal quality.
I've cleaned out under our bed and gotten rid of a number of things that hadn't seen the light of day in 9 years. Our unity candle set and stand being one of those items. I found old post cards I'd kept from my grandmothers things, I originally kept them thinking one day I'd make something neat with them or they "might be worth something". That is one of those tricks of the mind that gets us to keep junk. Who defines worth? I'd invited friends to come and look through the heaps of things I'd purged to see if anyone found anything to be of use to them. The result was humorous. They all mentioned that they had caught the purge bug too and didn't want to bring more things into their homes. Then, one sweet friend started in on "but you can't get rid of this! It's probably worth something!" Right then and there I felt that tug the world has and as I felt it I laughed. Here I wasn't being chided about how I was donating an expensive wedding dress to goodwill but that I was getting rid of those old postcards. "Sell them on Ebay! Bring them into an antique store!" That's not worth my time. Suddenly I began to feel very clear about what I considered valuable and what has worth to me. This wasn't it. Spending time to research or bring them somewhere had no value or worth to me, it would defeat the purpose of what I was doing. The value was in them not being in my home. Not being in my space. Not being in my home, my mind, or my control.
The value was in cutting the tie.
I'm not sure if I'm talking about this purging process more than I feel like I am or what is happening but there are several people in my life making comments that what I'm doing is spreading. They are initiating conversations with me about getting rid of things, paring down their belongings and then telling me that it is spreading out to other people they know. Comments about my strength in emotionally detaching from things and being able to get rid of things that have sentimental value. ....that one puzzles me.....I'm not sure if it's my perspective that is off, or theirs. Most of the time the object doesn't have sentimental "value" but guilt attached. I think I'm starting to sort out what that is for me. The difference between keeping something I love because it has a pleasant memory and keeping something because whats attached is "how could you get rid of that? It was _____'s!" The fact that something is silver, gold, crystal or was previously owned by someone is of no consequence to me. An object is only as valuable as the level of enjoyment I have in it. That is it. I no longer want to keep things because someone gave them to me and might be offended if I don't keep it. If that's why something is on a shelf then the only thing on display is guilt, not beauty and certainly not enjoyment.
The first load of purged items are now gone. I've taken a few weeks to enjoy the last bits of summer, a week away with family, allowing my body to rest after another bout of pain and reflecting on where I am with Him.....where we are together and what He is teaching me in this process.
School starts next week and I'm looking forward to the structure that provides to the day. The time and solitude it lends. I'm excited to get back into purging more of the house as well....maybe even more, what I will learn in the process.