Of Toy Horses and Existence
After eight years I have finally moved out of my mother’s house for good. Don’t get me wrong. I had actually left my home country of Germany seven years ago, just with a suit case and bare necessities. Most of my stuff I had left behind, knowing that they would be save where they were.
Initially I had taken most of my belongings 300 km south where I would be studying for the next year and a half, only to move them up again once I had decided to live in another country. From there, twice yearly visits turned into once yearly, but still, every time I took something that seemed important enough with me into my new home across the English Channel. It is incredible really if you think about the stuff we accumulate and hold dear. It’s our most innate habit: existence, holding on to things that define who we are.
In an interview with Ophra, the Dalai Lama remarked: “Even when a person has all of life’s comforts—good food, good shelter, a companion—he or she can still become unhappy when encountering a tragic situation. Physical comforts cannot subdue mental suffering, and if we look closely we can see that those who have many possessions are not necessarily happy. In fact, being wealthy often brings even more anxiety. On the other hand, those who don’t have a life filled with luxury may have a home filled with compassion, based on their choice to be content and to practice self-discipline.”
(Read more: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Oprah-Interviews-The-Dalai-Lama/2#ixzz2H2GUEuwD)
When my mother mentioned she might move into a much smaller accommodation, I decided it was time to rid myself of the extra belongings that had not been in use since I had left them. By no means did I think it would turn into an ordeal with the extend of a near breakdown.
It was mainly the memories that arose with each single piece from dust-covered boxes. Most were school related, arts and crafts, paintings, including end of year reports which reflected the negative impact my teacher of eight years had on my upbringing. There were notebooks with terrible handwriting and yet pretty interesting content. All my Barbie dolls plus an impressive array of horses, one of which could even walk, resembling some peculiar Michael Jackson move, providing you put batteries in. None of these I really needed, yet they were part of my childhood, part of who I once was, the part that made me who I am now. How can you just chuck that part away? You wouldn’t cut out a piece of your thigh and continue walking as if nothing had happened, would you? Yet, some people never even had the opportunity to accumulate any worldly possessions…
After the first sorting run, the second already proved less emotional. With the third, I had thrown away another half of what I initially was unable to part with. Now I had gone through the process of remembering, the joys and pains, and had come to realise that there was no need to keep it and was finally able to let go. Though I did worry that in a decade or two I would be looking for some memorabilia, that would not be there no more. It was more about “just looking at it and remembering”. The other thing, however, was to try and fit it all into an already crammed tiny flat.
It might be a coincidence that this process of letting go also applies to a change in my diet, mainly excluding refined cane sugar, which I am currently writing about in a separate blog. Being back at my mother’s house at Christmas, the place I spent all my childhood, I find myself reverting back to the little child I once was, with the reflection of the wax candles in my eyes only merely covering up the gleam of near insanity, or child-like joy, at the sight of granny´s big Christmas plate filled with lebkuchen, stollen, biscuits, marzipan and chocolates filled with the most delicious mousse and cream, all wrapped in all the colours of the universe. And somewhere deep inside I wonder whether I will ever be able to abstain from sugar for good.
Of course, my 30-year-old self still couldn´t help itself in view of the Christmas treats, though it was more in control than the last years. I had cut down on sugar in every-day life, with the exception of festive periods. With every sugar-coated almond, chocolate coated marzipan, chocolate nougat ball, poppy crumble cake, waffle topped with hot cherries and rice pudding I ate, I said my last goodbye, knowing that if I want to change, I will have to just do it.
The same goes with my material belongings. If I want to be free and filled with happiness, I will have to just let go of things that don’t serve me no more. I know that it is about time to let go and I vow to myself that I will lovingly do so. And if it isn’t so much letting go of all worldly possessions yet, so it will begin with thought processes. The past is over and gone and has no impact on me. I acknowledge it as a stepping stone that made me who I am today. My life is full of joy, laughter and fun and I fully love myself and those around me. I choose my own future and create my life to my highest good. Wherever I go, life offers me splendid opportunities to grow. I only hold love in my thoughts, speak truth with my words and warm others with my radiant smile.
For this is not happiness 😉
To a new year, filled with new adventures.