I’ve recently become reacquainted with my propensity toward attachment. In one way or another it is something that I’ve always known about myself – maybe from moving around so much, maybe not – I’ve always been able to feel affectionate regard for things quite quickly. In a new place I’ll find ways to feel at home, to make it my own. With new people, I will look for connections and ways we click. With things, I will associate them with the place, event, person and fond memories around the time they were acquired. I’m an attacher. In one definition of attachment, it equates responsiveness with attachment, and this is in no way a problem for me because even if it is an inanimate object I will endow it with life and meaning. Even if it is an idea or a hope, I will attach. In many ways this ability to attach has been a gift – it makes me fiercely loyal, protective and affectionate. It means that people trust me and feel safe in my presence.
The flip side is that it weighs me down. Think of those vacuum cleaners with multitudinous attachments, the ones where you cannot even find a place to put all of the attachments so you tie or velcro them on, wedge them in between each other. That is me. In a recent course on abundance we spent one of the weeks clearing space. My husband and I picked an area – clothing, I think – and started purging, using the “Does this give me joy?” barometer. And wow, it worked and that space felt so good. I reduced my hours at my job to make time for creative work and boom, I booked an acting gig. Making space can bring you joy!
Now as we prep to move out of the apartment we have been in for a decade, we are using the KonMari Method to help us purge, clear and start fresh. I love the results, but the process can be pretty painful for me. The first couple of days I could be found occasionally curled up in the fetal position. It exhausts me and I just want to cry. Why? I have accumulated a whole lot of stuff. And I am attached to my stuff. It makes me feel safe, secure, important and ready for anything. Letting go makes me feel like I am in crisis mode. However, as I shred these documents I’ve been attached to, including the police reports and claims from when I was hit by a car, I see the stories I’ve held onto and how they have helped me stay small. When you are buried in stuff, weighed down by your possessions and relationships that don’t feed you, you are not available to say yes – your wings just don’t have the space to spread out. This painful process of clearing out, detaching, separating and letting go is providing me with a beautiful chance to grow and heal. It is time to let go of old beliefs. It is time to grow into the woman who I want to be, who I was made to be. This process of becoming me requires a lot of trust and faith. I may not “arrive” in this lifetime, but I will continue on this path, surrounding myself with joy, stretching out my wings and, when the time is right, flying.