Cleaning out the Closet

March 21, 2008 at 11:32 am 1 comment

I thought since I’m about halfway there, I had things figured out. Today it seems that I’ve got things about halfway figured out, and nothing is definite. Spring is coming. That is a time for clearing out the old, letting go of what we don’t need, making space for the new, getting organized and cleaning up.

My oldest item which takes up the most space is: fear. Fear has been the constant in my life, never failing to accompany me and often helping me make a cautious decision, which I later regret. Letting go of the fear means I don’t have to figure everything out now. Since it is not necessary to know the end result, I can jump in anywhere.

Puttering is one of my favorite words. I love to start just by clearing the papers on my desk. Next thing I know, hours have passed and I’ve landed somewhere else in the house, leaving a trail of order behind me. Recently I was lost in speechlessness. Weeks were spent searching for an opening line, to no avail. Then a situation simply occurred and made discussion a necessity, which turned into an intense four-hour puttering in the relationship.

I tend to let housework collect and then do a marathon cleaning. The older I get, the more sense it makes to simply keep at it. I just don’t have the energy to clean the whole house in one day. Maintaining a relationship is kind of like keeping house. After this last discussion, I was exhausted, and decided I would rather keep at it regularly than let things collect.

My fears have long filled the closet and I can’t close the door anymore. Thus I am compelled to sort them through and get rid of them – one at a time, or by the handful. This can also be dealt with in the puttering mode. Once in the habit of letting go, it feels natural to go with the flow, to take risks, to talk, to face fears, to challenge, and to declare needs.

My first fears grew out of my lack of control. As a child, I was helpless. Now I am a grown woman. I do not control my environment any more now than I did then, but I am powerful and have well-developed coping mechanisms. I can deal effectively with outside influences, and I can be a source of influence.

At 5 am this morning I met 13 women in a parking lot. Together we walked uphill to a sacred spot at the base of a mountain. We celebrated Good Friday, the Spring Equinox, the full moon and the beginning of Spring. A fire was made, and each woman had the opportunity to put her burdens into the flames, that they be transformed. Some had written their wishes on a piece of paper to be burned. Others simply spoke the words and burned them symbolically, along with various herbs for clarity, cleansing and strength.

After expressing gratitude for the opportunity, I offered my fear to the fire, and asked it to transform that fear into courage and love. Night turned into day, the sky brightened, and it began to snow lightly. When we were finished, we walked back down to the parking lot, through the softly fluttering snowflakes, drove through the misty morning to the home of one of the women. There we had a hearty breakfast, with good talk and lots of laughter, to give us strength for the ongoing journey. After all, I’m only halfway there! 


Entry filed under: life, Soul Food. Tags: , , , , .

New Garden Gratitude Day

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. carolynlboyd  |  March 23, 2008 at 12:23 am

    This is a wonderful post. I love that ritual — it is so simple, yet so effective and full of meaning. Fear — so much of our lives are lost to it. Your thoughts are always so insightful and helpful!

    Thank you! Such positive feedback warms my soul!


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