April 25, 2016

Purging the Garage is a Spiritual Practice.

Memory box

Purging the house and garage for a yard sale is a spiritual practice.

It’s revisiting old memories with each item we touch and then letting go of the item while deciding whether or not to hold onto the memorabilia. The most difficult box I’ve opened so far is the one from my childhood.

Here are its contents:

One Tupperware holds the contents of my entire childhood. Not just physical items but memories locked away. I pull from the shelf, the dusty box, that hasn’t been opened in 13 years. I sit down on the living room floor and take a big breath. I remove the lid. Contained are the memories I’ve been avoiding. It contains pictures, letters, drawings, journals, and foster care court documents.

Memories I’ve long put away in a hole of deep hurt that I didn’t know remains silently in my heart and subconscious today.

As I revisit each well preserved item, the emotions return. The ache in my heart shows up as I remember those memories of a difficult childhood spent alone. I make three piles: keep, recycle/donate and trash. Some photos I’ll keep, but not all. The court documents, news paper clippings, and school grades will be recycled. The small trinkets will be thrown away. And finally, the letters I don’t remember keeping but hold the most pain—will be shredded.

The box is reduced into a small photo box and some year books.

I wake up this morning hurting but deeply loving my younger self. I feel so much love and empathy for that young girl who just wanted to feel loved and protected. She wanted to feel safe—like she meant something to someone.

As I hold a pile of documents in my hands, I say to my husband “I’ve never been safe.” And he so kindly responds with a small grin on his face and love in his eyes, “you are now.”

I feel the truth in his words, my heart heals a little and I melt into him.

Purging the garage is a spiritual practice.

It’s revisiting the past and letting go of the things we’ve held onto—both physical and emotional.

For me, I’m emptying my garage and my soul of the past to make room for my future. I’ll never forget my younger self, but I truly love who I’m becoming with each passing day. As for the memories: they’ll remain until the day they’re no longer needed. Then they’ll simply fade away.

A fire burns within me. My light is the brightest it’s been so far. My heart is wide open today. I can see myself.


Author: Crystal Hammon

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr/Sam

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Crystal Hammon