I’ve been thinking about destruction. Sometimes before we create something new and beautiful, we have to annihilate what’s taking up space.
“If I am what I have, and if I lose what I have, who then am I?”
When we plant a garden, for example, we remove the existing plants, upturn the soil, add fresh medium and then plant anew. When we rid ourselves of what’s there, we launch into new terrain (pun intended).
Recently, I talked about a curious storm, which turned out to be a harbinger of several others. Phrases like lives were destroyed have been repeated like mantras. A few actual lives were lost but lives were destroyed was generally used to describe the loss of accumulated possessions and of course, people’s homes.
Those who experienced these losses remark on what they’ve gained: The outpouring of support by friends and strangers alike; a sense of excitement as they contemplate how they will remake what their lives are about; a renewed faith in their fellow humans; and a needed break from political happenings, to name just a few.
A buddy and colleague of mine who’s starting from scratch said “This is an amazing place to be in my life!! I’m very grateful.” This, after she and her husband lost their beloved home of many years, their cars, their cat and virtually everything else they owned; after being helicoptered (I can’t even – the dangling in air) to a quickly appointed area shelter and spending weeks sorting through soggy, molding debris. They still have a long road ahead to rebuild, but seem struck with a sort of giddy anticipation in spite of it.
“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness, possesses you. And in this materialistic age, a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.”
Mildred Lisette Norman
Many of us are realizing that who we are isn’t about what we have. We are deciding to just say ‘no’ to the rampant consumerist mindset and yes to fuller lives with less to bog us down. We are also concluding that the new generation is way ahead of us and truly doesn’t want our stuff either. There’s a lot of momentum and inspiration if you want guidance, want to find like-minded people, The Minimalists can help you light the fire.
If given only minutes to decide, as so many of us have these past few weeks and months, what you cannot do without, how heavy is your load? You serve as the beast of burden to your accumulated belongings. Consider shaking them off and running free.