My office is a disaster. I’ve got notes from three classes spread out over most of the open surface. My file cabinets are full. These are on-going classes, so I choose to leave them out rather than figure out where to put another file cabinet.
I’ve also got study material in boxes on the floor for a dormant class that I hope to reactivate.
I have in my heart to teach yet another new class (or two) and that material exists in files waiting to be finalized.
Then there’s the Healing Light Expo stuff that is an ongoing project that I keep in a file box near my chair in case I need to access that information.
GAH!!! This is a physical representation of my brain! Scattered in all directions.
Each direction has value and purpose and importance!
I’m not even going to mention the cat toys that exist in this space.
And then there’s Phil whose idea of filing is stacking things on top of each other. Deepest being oldest. Surprisingly enough, he can find anything by just visualizing how long ago he came across that piece of paper and lifts about 3 month’s worth of debris and ta-daaa! There it is! (Kind of amazing, actually.)
Are you laughing yet? I know I am.
So, here’s a file I can stow in the Expo box. Here is a piece of paper in my copy stand for the Board of Trustees meetings and here is another for the Board sitting to the left of the church calendar. I can put those together. Cat toy next to the stapler can go in the toy basket. A button needing to be sown on an old sweater can go in the mending box. I’ll be right back…
Oh, look! A class I had put together that I never had the opportunity to present! I think the weather was bad last winter so I postponed it. That could be fun! I’ll get it on the calendar!
Oh look! A dust cloth! I will put that to use right now. Wonderful I can now see my desk!
Imagine what our brains look like. We hang on to odd bits and pieces of information and experiences as if they were life and death. Just as my trash can in now full and my desk is now clean, I can release those odd bits and pieces from my awareness. Do I really need to keep old church calendars from month’s past? Nope. I can let those go.
Untaught class material I spent hours creating? Let’s keep that!
So, how do we release all that mental junk?
Same way we release physical junk.
We look at it. We assign it value. Then, depending upon its value, we keep or purge. The trick is the valuation part. When I was 9 years old, my favorite toy had great value for me. That same toy might have some sentimental value, but might be something I could allow another child to play with. Looking at it stirs up memories and feelings. When we release a thing, the memories and the feelings may remain or they may dissipate . . . also depending upon what valuation we gave that item/memory. Could be that old toy isn’t salvageable. Maybe it’s worth millions! I get to research and see if it holds value. My valuation may not be accurate.
We tend to give painful memories more value than they are worth.
Why? Because we don’t want to be hurt like that again, so we hold on in order to protect ourselves. Unfortunately, two things happen when we do that. One, we often are hurt in different ways as we journey through life, so we hang on to old painful stuff needlessly. Two, when we hold on to old pain, we are telling the Universe – “Hey! This is important! Pain is important to me!” So, the Universe serves us up more because that’s the unconscious directive we’ve issued.
We’ve heard: “Learn the lesson, then move on.” We translate that to: “Keep that pain active and maybe I’ll see it coming next time.” What “learn the lesson” really means is: discover your part and heal. So, if someone hurt my feelings by talking behind my back, I can keep the pain of betrayal active and move into a state of not trusting; or, I can recognize that I didn’t see the tell-tale signs of that person’s needing approval before I shared myself with them – I now honor myself and recognize my own need for approval when it shows up. This second way offers me the power of choice. I can hold my own council without needing to over-share. When I do find someone who holds the energy of loyalty and honor, I can share myself more deeply.
Which is freeing? Keeping the pain of betrayal active? Honoring one’s self?
What’s really cool about all this is that we only need to bring awareness to our part and the energy attached to the pain disengages and dissipates.
Try it yourself!
What’s an old pain that still haunts you? Did you have a part in that? If not, you can cut yourself free by recognizing you were innocent. If you had a part in it, how can you honor yourself? Choosing to honor yourself also cuts you free.
Freedom is like a clean desk. It allows space to create new things or to focus on things of value.
Just like cleaning my desk, it requires a bit of time and energy, but once done, a lot less energy is expended. Before my desk was clear, I had negative feelings about “all I had to do.” I felt overwhelmed and burdened. Just looking at that cluttered desk sucked energy from me. When in truth, there were just a few things requiring my attention for now. It took a lot more energy to look at the clutter than it did to actually process through to a clean desk.
So, too with old pain. The realization that there is old stuff there to look at seems overwhelming. Yet, just like finding three of four pieces of paper scattered all over my desk that related to the Expo, putting them together and putting them in the file took a lot less effort than experiencing the clutter.
Find one thing that you’d like to release and get clear from. Look at it with the eyes of discernment – not the perceptions of a wounded victim. Did you have a part? No? Trash-can that experience and recognize your innocence as a soul. Did you have a part? Yes? Honor the aspect of yourself that sees the truth of who you are. Be the Sacred Observer and witness your own value. As you discover your value, the pain falls away. Peace descends upon you and you are free!
My desk is not spotless. I still have a few things yet to sort and file. But for now, I have clear space from which to create. As I bring my attention to those final pieces of clutter, I become freer and clearer. It’s a process. I am okay with it not being perfect in this moment.
As you claim/re-claim honor for yourself, you can relax in not having to be perfect in this moment. You get to be freer and clearer in the process.
And that’s a good thing!