“If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.” -Alan Cohen
You could say I grew up in an anti-hoarding house. We were never allowed to have an excess of anything and when something new came in, something old had to go out. Our toys all fit in one little red plastic treasure chest and there was a generous space between each hanger in my small closet. My mom was constantly reminding us that a home didn’t have to be big to be nice, but it did have to be neat and organized.
I remember a feeling of lack back then and wishing I had more, more, more. Now I’m extremely grateful because I do not have a hard time letting go of things. I could go in my closet right now and get rid of fifty percent of my stuff and never look back. I am more practical than sentimental. I think it has helped me with generosity and I like it.
This talent for non-attachment is starting to serve me in other ways, as well. On my search for more meaning and joy and acceptance, I am discovering that I have held on to hopes and ideas and visions about the way I thought I wanted my life to be. We all do. It’s like we are a world full of dream hoarders, clinging to our fantasies for dear life.
I wanted my children to have this “better” childhood than I did. And although I know my children are happy and love their lives, I have no idea what it is like for them to grow up in divorce. They are probably making plans to make “better” lives for their children as I speak. So I had to throw that idea away, trusting that I am a good mother and my children get to feel the amazing simplicity of being truly loved.
Secondly, I was going to be the woman brushing her long blonde hair that is always wonderful tonight to her loving man. And while I haven’t completely given up on the notion that true love exists, I am also totally in love with the way I am navigating life all alone. I never imagined I would not have a partner as an adult, and it’s not easy, but being brave brings me unlimited joy. So I’m trying to just enjoy a little wiggle room in my closet and my bed for right now.
I gave up a bad marriage and found more closeness with my children, my family and my friends. I gave up hopes for my children to grow up living the American dream and I found more compassion and wisdom in their eyes. I can let people go who hurt me without disdain or animosity. I can stop hoping people think I’m more and better than I am because I have found that all I am is enough. I can make room for even bigger and better wishes for my life because I am fearless enough to say goodbye.