#reverb10 Day 11: Things

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

There are many things to leave behind.

The things I’ve been carrying around for years.  Some of the things are of my own making and choosing. Others were thrust upon me, and I foolishly believed that because someone had given them to me, I couldn’t put them down.

I have been a collector of these things. Cleaning up around me as I went and never putting anything down.

I have walked onward, adorned in these things and becoming so accustomed to their weight that I believed it to be my own. I wrapped myself in these things, finding that to be the only way to carry them all. I wore them on my head like a turban. Wrapped them around my neck and let them trail behind me like a train. I wound them around my waist and knotted them securely so they wouldn’t fall off and be left behind. I carried what I could in my head and in my heart. Shoved things into my chest cavity, and held them in my throat. I swallowed what I could, and carried it leaden in my belly. I scooped up handfuls of these things. Carried them in my arms. When I ran out of ways to carry the things,  I just tied them to myself wherever I could. To my arms. To my legs. To my fingers.  To the hair on my head.

I dragged them forward until the weight was too much.

I could not move for the things. I was buried under their weight. I sank to my knees. Fell to the floor. Rolled helpless onto my back and lifted my eyes heavenwards believing this to be the end.  It was all I could do.

Exhaustion was a gift.  As I lay there unable to move something told me to examine exactly what I had been carrying with me. What were these things? Who did they belong to?

Whose anger was this knotted around my neck?  What about the resentment I held in my arms like a baby? The fear tied to my ankle?  The sadness held in my clenched fist? The unworthiness draped about my shoulders like a cape?

I was amazed by how much I didn’t recognize. Even more amazed that I neither wanted nor needed any of it.

So I began to remove these things from my being. My fingers clumsy at first, I began to untie the knots and unravel all of these heavy things. I began slowly, and cautiously. Waiting to see what would happen. Would they reattach themselves? Would someone appear and make me pick it all back up again?

It didn’t happen, so frantically, I began to remove more things. I freed my arms and flung the things far from me. I released my legs and kicked myself loose, until finally I could stand tall and straight and free with the heavy pile of things littered at my feet. I wept at the relief. At the exquisite lightness which remains.

Freedom.

It’s here that I find myself. Standing surrounded by the weight I have shed. Shaking my head in wonder that I carried it all for so long without realizing that it was not necessary. Not knowing that I could say no. Not knowing that I could just put down what I didn’t need and step around it.

I know better now. I will step over the threshold into this new year knowing better. I will leap and run and skip my way into its brand new, miracle-filled days. I will carry with me always only the most precious things, leaving by the wayside that which no longer serves me. If along the way I should meet anyone who wants to give me their stuff to carry, I will politely say “No, thank you”, and dance myself ever forward.

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