As we keep personal accounts, both conscious and unconscious, of what people owe us or what has been wrongfully done to us, we begin to be overrun with a collection of totally useless, and even harmful, attitudes that stick with us like a houseful of possessions.
I just had a yard sale where I had to sell every single thing I had—even the Mickey Mouse doll I have kept with me everywhere I have moved since I was 2 years old. My husband and I decided that we had to get rid of almost everything we owned so that we could make a streamlined move out of New Mexico to Oregon.
As I said goodbye to all of my belongings, and confronted the surge of attachment-demons, I finally gave way to an openness to the future, to the present, and a letting go of the past. But I held on tenaciously to every attachment I had for days on end before I was pushed to this brink…and I nearly broke down in exhaustion. Not to mention that I was inflicting an impressive amount of marital woes onto my relationship.
I do not want to have to let anything go that I think is mine—and I am loathe to take an honest, logical look at whether there is any good reason to keep said object—or attitude—for any other than that I feel like it’s MINE. . As old items were being discarded as we cleared away for the move, old hurts and resentments reared their ugly heads. Everything from the past got kicked up like oppressive Albuquerque dust, muddling my thinking and literally choking my respiration.
From the day we got started with the process of moving, I had, with almost admirable zeal and a fighting spirit, alighted on every opportunity—and I left NO stone unturned–in fighting tooth and nail for the release of literal and psychological ornaments of the past. A minor betrayal from nearly a decade before came sprinting out of the closet and jaunting around our apartment. He had an Emmy Lou Harris CD he had shared with me and I took to it immediately. This became an occasion for him to criticize my emotionality and excess of feeling, and he turned on poor Emmy Lou, too! I sung the story of its anger and hurt, as I danced its rage and accusations all over our apartment between the stacks of boxes.
When that demon tired and I walked into my child’s room where my husband was sorting through things, I nearly exploded when I saw a heap of dresses I had chosen for my daughter carelessly tossed into the “Getting Rid Of” pile. I let loose a veritable tsunami of offense against my husband, the evil perpetrator! The more casual he was, the more softly he whispered, “let it go, Chazzy,” the more infuriated I was and the more determined I became to hold down my fort against the powers that would destroy it. Yes! The Powers that would destroy it! It! It!! It. My brain felt like this:
I was slowly becoming confused over what it was I was fighting over. Even when a certain object or memory came up and I was certain of its specificity, the feeling of possessiveness and anger behind it was confusing me all the more. My possessiveness toward both memory and object had turned me into a vengeful ghost, leering threateningly over my domain.
Indeed, I was beginning to feel just like a ghost—hungry and fixated. Unwilling to leave, determined to haunt her territory no matter how completely devoid of real value that territory really had pertaining to the happiness of the present.
And I remembered an adage that spoke to how necessary to psychological liberation and happiness it was for a person to cancel old debts and trespasses. So I began to turn it around—to confront the old, to let it pass away, and to clear away for the new. Both in my literal environment, and in my attitudes toward my partner and our past together.
As buyer after buyer came to the Yard Sale and walked away with an armload of my old stuff, I tried to send away another arm full of old attitudes, of memories–those ones warped by the fuel of self-love in recounting sins against me, no matter how trivial the sin. It is true that forgiveness is really the healing ointment for the poisoned soul who has held a grudge, and made accounts of the debts another owes him. If seen clearly, we ourselves are absurdly enough, just as, if not more, guilty in how we trespass against others. Of course, I expect anything I have done that wasn’t entirely in the right to be understood and forgiven instantaneously. The contradiction that I don’t do so easily for others is a real feat of the Ego–with all of it’s crafty buffers against contradiction and hypocrisy!
Starting over is the foundation to creating a life with a partner. You have to be able to cancel old debts for one another in order to move forward. Sometimes an event ( like moving and getting rid of old shit) that represents the struggle against change and letting go can kick up these issues, and provide us an opportunity to clear out our useless collections of both the useless and the harmful. I began to feel as light as air and as giddy as Eliza Doolittle as practically nothing of my old surrounding remained. They were gone forever…and what a relief. I tried looking at my husband with new eyes, as if that day was the very beginning–a new beginning in which any habitual and outworn roles we were playing with each other could be laid to rest.
I would certainly say for any of my clients who are having difficulty finding the right person to partner up with, that it would be a gainful experience to purge your resentments and any accounts whatsoever you have held against past lovers. ESPECIALLY the ones you pretend you don’t have! Those are the biggies! They hang on like a polyester Mickey Mouse, showing up in every box you open in every new city you land. Just get rid of it, just do! You’ll be glad you did.
We have to able to start over, totally fresh, totally free, again, and again, and again, and again.
I guarantee you’ll feel like this: