I was surfing on Pinterest the other day and saw an idea for Lent that had you get rid of 40 things in 40 days. I kind of chuckled to myself about that one.
You see we are getting ready to move in a month. Not a big move, actually just about three miles away. But emerging teens in the house and aging parents necessitated us needing more room than we currently have (our current house is rather small by American standards), so away we go.
The thing about moving, no matter how far or how close you move, is that you have to put everything you own into a box, load the box into a big truck, unpack the box from the truck, unpack the thing from the box, and then put it up somewhere in your new house.
Yeah, that’s a lot of steps to keep something in my life.
So clever me decided after Christmas to go through everything we have and give about 25% away.
I was ruthless. Everything my kids had outgrown, gone. Everything that no longer fit me or was nowhere near in style, gone. Underused kitchen gadgets, gone.
But then it went deeper. I started getting rid of clothes I wore regularly in former jobs that I likely wouldn’t be needing anymore. Then I got rid of books that were important to me at one time but not so much now (that was a hard one.)
And then there was the paper. Old yoga sign-in sheets. Old papers from jobs I no longer had. Really old financial documents. Gone.
Some of these items brought back happy memories and some very sad ones. No matter what the association, I just let myself say, “This is in the past now. I am no longer in this place in my life. Lets shred it and move on.”
I’ve got to say this was one of the most freeing practices I have done in a long time. Some days were quite emotional. Some days it felt like a huge weight was being lifted from my shoulders.
Overall, it felt like I was taking layer after layer of heaviness off and just letting it fly away in the breeze.
So many burdens from the past: regrets, disappointments, griefs, guilt, I was able to set aside and say “I am done with this now. I am in a new place. It is okay.”
Looking back I can’t believe all the things I was holding onto and why.
It was such a relief to let myself actually live fully in my present life (not in the past, not in the future) and be okay with that.
It is such a freedom to let go of all that I was hoarding out of fear or scarcity thinking and let myself only have what I needed for today.
When I pray, “give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us” the words ring loud and clear.
So if you too are scanning across facebook or pinterest and see one of those “clear out the clutter during Lent” posts. GO FOR IT.
I will not only be your house that is cleaner. Your mind and your heart will be transformed as well.