The last week I met with the challenge of cleaning out my storage unit. My things had been packed and stored away for the last five years. I know, an incredible amount of time to have things in storage. I opened the door and stared inside. The contents were more daunting then I had remembered. Somehow I had thought it would be a simple thing to do, but now it was staring me in the face. It was obvious to me it had been let go of far too long. The mess was now becoming a message.
I clicked a few photos and sent them off to my husband. His first comment, “What a mess!” I agreed. I pulled out one of the dining room chairs and just sat there for a few minutes. I thought, “So this is the mess I left behind and have not dealt with.” I tend to hold the belief that our mess created on the outside of us come from something on the inside of us. As I sat, I wondered what mess in me created this contained and locked up disaster! I changed my question to what message this had for me and wondered why I had allowed it. Was it not to put off for tomorrow what I could do today, or was it to deal with things before moving onward to something else? I shook my head and decided it had to be a little bit of both.
Whatever the reason I had come to this place on my journey it was obvious my cleaning up and clearing out process was not going to be an easy one and it was not going to happen completely in one session. As I weeded through papers, boxes, and long forgotten items I thought again about the mess in me. What was I weeding from my inner life at that moment? Maybe it was a little self care neglect, and putting off what I needed to deal with at the moment. Maybe it was holding on to things that I should let go of and move on to a new level of growth. Again, it had to be a little of both, and maybe then some.
I found myself in the middle of the unit turning around in circles. I moved things to one side and then to the next and back again. I discovered long forgotten treasures that I knew I had to keep. Then there were other things I could not understand the reason I had kept them in the first place. An overwhelming feeling washed over me, as I sat down again. I concluded that some things are important because they have meaning attached to them, and other things are just things. The same thing on the inside seemed to be true. I decided to keep what was meaningful and brought a specific memory or feeling of joy into my life and leave the rest.
My inner process was not as hard as the outer process. I let go of things that really did not matter and decided to cling to the memories that I cherished and have brought me a smile along the way. It all surrounded forgiveness and gratitude. I thought of the things I was grateful for and the things I had not forgiven as I continued to weed through memories and material things. Surprisingly the number one person I had to forgive was myself. As I shuffled boxes I could not help but cry. There was some past life staring me in the face each time I cut open a box. Everything from photos to bed sheets were exposed. Each time, I found something to be grateful for and something to forgive. My storage unit was, and is, very symbolic of my achievements and losses. I found degrees I had earned, and documents that were as old as God and really had no meaning accept being a stepping stone to a new phase of life.
I chose the best things to bring back with me, some things to give away, and others for another part of my journey. I think my inner world is the same. I think I will choose the best things to retain in me, let go of some, and give away any wisdom that is obtained from my life lessons. As for the other part of my journey, who knows? Maybe that lies within the contents of the rest of my storage unit.
Do you have a mess, a message, or something to clear out in your life? I hope this gives you some thoughts to ponder.
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev Jenine Marie Howry