image of the sun rising on the River Tyne

Clearing out (19.11.21)

image of the sun rising on the River Tyne

I am currently in the midst of a clear-out after my first venture in almost two years into my personal ‘storage facility’. Several boxes of my possessions and mementos have resided there for a decade or so. There’s no deadline to complete the task and these things always take longer than we hope they will. 

Opening a pack of old greetings cards or photographs inevitably transports us to an earlier time in our lives. Memories are re-ignited and relived and our thoughts stray to those we have loved and those no longer with us. 

Fortunately, my understanding of how life works and how we experience it meant I felt no pain or hurt. I smiled while reading the letters and cards addressed to my younger self and remembered fondly their authors.

The ‘clearing out’ aspect of the exercise is easy when it comes to bank statements from now defunct accounts. Likewise for the documentation for cars long since removed from the highways and byways.

I’ve always felt uneasy discarding photographs which is why some have remained in my possession for decades. I’ll continue to keep those and the personal letters as I hope to be able read them again in the future. The non-personal items and ‘past its sell by date’ material will be discarded without any qualms.

Some people find it difficult to discard anything connected with a deceased loved one. Some folk even create shrines in what was that loved one’s bedroom or study or whatever. Nothing is moved or changed from the time the person left.

It’s almost as if keeping the room as it was makes it more likely that the person will walk back through the door. The truth is, we all know that cannot happen, no matter how much we long for their physical presence. They cannot be with us in that way for they are not attached to physical objects they touched.

The time and emotion we shared here on Earth with our departed loved ones strengthens the spiritual connection between us. We are all spiritual beings living this human experience and when the human side ends, our spiritual side continues.

We should feel free to enjoy our mementos and our memories but not become enslaved by them. The past is done and dusted for all of us, none of us can change any of it.

We take forward the knowledge and experience we have gained because of those past events and people. We don’t leave them behind and we don’t forget them.

Our memories are thoughts with emotions attached. We remember those gone before us and the emotions we still feel about them. They remain close to us but in a different way. We cannot lose them for they go where we go and are where we are.