As a writer, I’m determined not to fall in love with my words. Still, I do. I’ll get attached to a paragraph or sentence. I’ll move the clever thing around, cutting and pasting again and again, determined to keep it because, well, I love it.
That’s a sure sign the brilliant tidbit has to go. If I’m inserting words into the work just because I like them, I’m not moving the story along. So, I emotionally detach then delete. I don’t even save the paragraph in my “drop” folder anymore. I’ve found I never go back to it. If there’s substance in what was said, it’ll come out in other ways.
Just like those words, attachment to the trivial keeps us from seeing a bigger life picture. If we’re clinging to something just because we don’t want to let it go, then it’s time for us to detach and delete. This could be a behavior, a way of thinking about things, a way of seeing the world. Holding on “just because” is really holding on to fear. This stalls us. It limits the choices in our lives. It inhibits us from living our true story.
Most certainly this struggle manifests to a deeper degree when our psychological awareness increases and spiritual consciousness arises. We find ourselves called to a new way of being yet woefully ill-equip to make the journey. Suddenly, the character we crafted through the years doesn’t match the current storyline. No longer are we the master of our own universe, the fabulous fixer, the narcissistic know-it-all, the helpless martyr, the upper-class soccer mom, the macho ladies’ man or the sheltered housewife. We’re hesitant about where the plot’s going to take us and we turn back.
Slipping on our old armor, we notice it’s too tight. We manage to squeeze into it, but eventually we blister and can’t breathe. We’re cranky. We’re in pain. We remember that brief moment of total freedom when we felt our Self through therapy or meditation and now we feel confused.
Eventually, the armor of inauthenticity wears us down. We look for help and find people who’ve already made this crazy trek. This calms us. We peel off the defenses. Sometimes we do this willingly. Sometimes we fight like hell, watching the blood from our fingertips streak the metal as the chainmail is yanked from our clutches. Tender and vulnerable, we have no choice but to cross the threshold and enter this special new world.
Growth puts us into a state of transition and transitions are scary. They’re literally the movement from one place to another. This is where ordeals occur, where the bad guy might get us. What if we lose sight of the road, or run out of gas, or meet people different from us? How will we react? What will we see? What will we do?
Detaching from the old allows expansion to begin. We’re able to engage with ourselves and others in new ways. We practice genuineness and vulnerability. As we eventually find our bearings and trust this different kind of control, we open our heart to new challenges. This provides us with space to shift deeper into the subjective, less evaluative aspects of our new Self. We learn to embrace and not measure the mysterious experiences of our innermost cave.
As we encounter more challenges, we notice we’re also being rewarded. Empathy, Intuition and Creativity start to unfold. This new gift of awareness allows us to identify what we need. Because we understand the necessity of travelling lighter, we now detach from that which weighs us down. Detach and delete. We see clearly now. We’re living the bigger picture. We’re operating in new ways. We move ahead, but know when to rest.
At times we stop to replenish at sites along the path. There, we meet people we didn’t know existed. We notice ourselves being present to them. We’re fascinated and moved by the stories they share of their own journeys. The things they share fill our hearts and leave us grateful. As we pack up and move on, because we must, we ask for directions. We’re seasoned enough now to know when to seek guidance.
We also begin to feel and it’s good. Colors and energy move easily through us. We no longer flee in panic at the sensation. Another gift.
An odd thing strikes us. We realize that we know now that Knowing is not knowing in the way we thought it was. It’s not an answer but acceptance. It’s not conclusions but curiosity. Looking back, we see the path we’ve travelled. We see those unnecessary burdens we shed and wonder why we needed them in the first place.
Smiling, it occurs to us that this journey is our home now and it’s such a long way from where we came. We look down into our hand and see life’s elixir. It glows warm in our palm. This is something we’ll be passing on to the next person we meet on the road. While this is something to keep, this is also something to share. We want to pass this along. And now we know all is good.
Artwork by Deborah Koff-Chapin