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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Moving Forward by Letting Go


This afternoon I put flames to the page and watched years and years worth of words slowly burn away. For so long the small green suitcase that used to hold them has felt like a heavy boulder on my back, something that would nag at me from time to time to deal with it but that was pretty manageable back there, where I couldn't see it, only noticing from time to time when I had to move it around. I would move it this way or that, sometimes take a couple out to rip out pages I wanted to save, like what I wrote after my grandmother died, the letter to my dad after he died, a few notable moments or nice sentences that I wanted to revisit, but mostly looking at them would make me hurt and when something makes you hurt in such a big way I feel it's good practice to remove it from your life. 

So, at a certain point I stopped looking and a couple days ago while working on the art room I tossed them all into a canvas bag to hold them until they could make it to the fire pit this afternoon. It was a bit bittersweet to see them go, but mostly just sweet as I felt that boulder crumble and knew they wouldn't be hanging around anymore to taunt me or to remind me of the hurt and the confusion. Writing in journals for me is therapy, a way to process my darker times and help to find ways through them. And, just as I wouldn't want to revisit a therapy session over and over again or have them recorded for others to listen in on, I felt much the same about these pages upon pages of writing. Some would argue I should save them so my daughters could learn more about me, and I get that, but not with this, not with these. My daughters will know my stories and hear how we can do hard things, overcome obstacles, not have to let our circumstances define us and on and on, but they don't need to read those, I don't need to read those, nobody on this earth needs to read those. They served their purpose, they got me to where I am, and for that I will always be grateful, but now? Now they have received their viking burial of sorts and I feel so much freer for having sent them on their way. 

6 comments:

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    1. Thank you Elisa. It feels so nice to let go.

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  2. I so understand this, and the freedom that comes as you watch those pages burn. I did my own little burning session on winter solstice, letting go of things that no longer served me. It feels amazing and freeing, and like a huge burden is lifted. It clears the space to really move on.

    Around here there has been more purging lately too, getting rid of memories, things I never thought I would let go of, and toss away, but life changes, and getting rid of the past is sometimes necessary to embrace the future.

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    1. It really does feel like a lifted burden doesn't it? Like you can get a big breathe in that area of your life. So good.

      It's amazing what memories are evoked by seemingly simple items in our homes and lives and I'm glad to hear you are doing purging of your own to move forward. You are just continuing to make more and more room for all of the good that has and will continue to come. I'm so proud for you friend.

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  3. This gave me a chill!! I have a shelf full of journals from age 12 on...I'm 42 now! I wonder sometimes if they prevent me from growing into who I am NOW. At the same time, they are so familiar, like a freckle on my arm...always there. This is a brave thing to do and I can't imagine how freeing it must have been! I always felt as a younger woman that I was writing for some future audience but now I wonder...would I want my husband or children to read these now? Lots to think about!

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    1. It really was so freeing. It feels like a relief as well, to know those captured times aren't lingering around any longer and that I can continue to grow into the me I am so enjoying becoming without those past versions of myself being able to whisper in my ear. For me, I am reminded of all I have been through and the positive changes I have made to get to the now without having to revisit those pages. If they weren't so full of hurt I don't know if I would have done the same, but for me it was time. <3

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