A strong feeling came over me as I gazed at the shelf and realized that I was never going to read most of those books again. I saw the jewelry box on my dresser filled with necklaces and earrings that hadn’t been worn in years. I looked around the room and felt alienated by my own belongings. The only thing out of place was me.
I’ve been having those realizations on a daily basis for the past month.
Those thoughts are terrifying because you start to feel that your possessions aren’t defining who you are anymore. Maybe having this kind of identity crisis is a good thing, maybe it’s exactly what you needed to find clarity.
When possessions define who are you as a person you’ve stopped living for yourself and started living for your stuff.
Eventually you will realize that everything that you have accumulated is gone. Then what?
You walk down the street without things of value to call your own. That’s okay.
Does part of you feel scared? insecure? Good.
You’ve reached the point of no return. Finally.
As I’ve been simplifying my life, I ran across journals from the past. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with them at first, and that posed a problem. It turns out the problem is a good excuse to start a fire.
I write so that thoughts can manifest themselves in my life, existing somewhere beyond my mind. By keeping a journal I’ve narrowly escaped a few vicious cycles of behavior. You start to notice trends and patterns in your writing. It’s like having the same conversation over and over again, hoping that it will have a different ending one day. You realize what is starting to define you, harnessing the power to stop it or to let it fill your soul entirely.
Like reading a Murakami novel, I devour the old entries. I wallow in the emotion and allow some kind of internal healing. You allow the floodgates to open one last time, before finding closure. It is fascinating to see what you’ve accomplished, and at times there are feelings of reconciliation.
After that, in the spirit of Everett Bogue, burn it.
It is overwhelmingly beautiful to watch my handwriting glow and sparkle within the blackened pages. The cycle reaches a state of completion. Also, I found that I love lighting things on fire.
It is freeing to write what you feel, and liberating to burn what you wrote. Give it a try.