The process of purging
In preparation for the soon to come hibernation & succesive changes, somewhere in the back of my head I have this urge to start purging my life once again of the unnecessary so that only the most essential remains.
Easier said than done.
The realisation that a lot of human misery (and definitely mine) comes from attachment to objects, subjects & concepts was a lesson I had been forced to learn nearly a decade ago. At first it was the concepts that pained me. The preconceived notion of what my life should look like. Then came the lesson on just how attached I was to objects & subjects. I always prided myself as being a non-materialistic person, yet there I was crying in desperation over things I was losing in life. None of it was a necessity but at that point in time, in my own mind, they were. Then came the fraying of my most cherished relationships, the death knell if you will. The force with which some unraveled left me gasping for breath. Others rotted away until their stink had invaded every pore of my being….making me question the futility of their & my own existence.
I didn’t learn these lessons easily. I screamed, shouted & kicked my heels as I went dragging along in that journey. And I learnt that sometimes the only way through a hellish experience was to just let go of any illusion of control & keep putting one foot in front of the other to just get through it. There is no rushing through the process, no coming out on the other side unblemished or unchanged.
Nearly four decades into my lifetime, I still find myself struggling – to let go, to trust the process. Even after several instances of active & wilful purging, I am still finding it difficult to let go of certain things. To purge without regret, to let go of attachment, no matter how necessary, is still a learning curve.
As usual my practical approach to purging was to cut down the process into bite size steps. Clear the junks accumulated in my house. Clear out my desk at work. Clear out my closet of all clothes I haven’t worn in a year. Clear out all the jewellery that I rarely used. Next went the hoard of cosmetics & self-care products I have accumulated. My bedside tables were emptied of momentos. My book shelves petered down to only the most beloved books. Yet much remains and I stare at them, not sure what the next step should be.
I cannot bring myself to get rid of my travel souvenirs. The artifacts of different cultures. The thousands of photographs from my travels. Each one represents something unique to me, a moment in time in which I journeyed within myself as much as I journeyed into the world. My home is a patchwork of my travels, of self realisation, finding that elusive sense of being comfortable in my own skin, of belonging to the world as much as I belong to myself. Each piece is unique to me, each a representative of stories I might never utter aloud. I have the same struggle with people, relationships & expectations. To let go is proving hard no matter how necessary it has become.
Yet to me this is what the purging is suppose to be….the wilful act of letting go of an old story in order to create a new storyline, of creating space, a vacuum so that new energy can come in. Our things own us more than we own them. And right now it seems that my reluctance to part ways with my travel stories, with certain relationships has become a bit of a problem for me. Then again who knows… next week I might realise that what’s in my head is far more precious than any momento that I have collected and what can still be is more beautiful than what has been. For now, I am just going to have to bite the bullet and see where it leads me 🙂