Originally posted on Facebook HERE
Looking back on my life, some of my most uncomfortable memories have to do with getting rid of something I wish I had kept. Number one on the list for me, and I really dread even talking about this, is my father’s old 78rpm record collection. I can’t believe I threw them out. Yes, at one point in my life, I threw them out. Didn’t sell them, didn’t donate them… threw them out. In the trash. I could puke just writing that. I never played them, they were part of the piles of crap I just moved from house to house for years after he passed away. But they were/are irreplaceable. It hurts, really hurts me inside to think about it. I wish I still had them. Maybe we all have a memory like that from our past – something we sold, or gave away, or threw out – that we wish we had kept. The pain associated with those memories can lead to a “hoarding” mentality. I have a little issue there I think. I hate throwing stuff out. I think dad’s old records memory is always in the back of my head, lurking. “You can’t throw that out! A plastic fork with 3 out of 4 tines is still useful!”… Pain and pleasure. The memories of past pain and pleasure stick with us, and can steer the rudder of our current days based on trying to avoid past pain, and recreate past pleasure. The fear of losing something I might need later has begun to create an amount of clutter in my physical and mental life I can no longer deal with, though. I need to start taking a long, hard look at what I have and say goodbye to clothes and items have I haven’t seen or used in years. Only keep what makes me happy in some way. My mistake with getting rid of dad’s old records was not realizing that, yes – I hadn’t played them in years. Probably would very seldom, if ever play them at all… but just having them, just looking at them, going through them – made me remember my dad. And it would feel so good to be able to do that again. So, they had a significant importance in my life even though they would seldom be used. My mistake since then is thinking (unconsciously) since then that every item I ever come in contact with has to be saved, because it could come in handy thirty years from now. Today, I hope to start to strike a balance. Look at what I own. Touch it, feel it, see if it’s something that holds any real emotional attachment – and start releasing the things that don’t.