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Something Old

by caribdirect
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Staff Writer – Katrin Callender

Ever commit to cleaning that closet stuffed with all the clothes, books and other items that make up a lifetime of memories and stories?

And have you ever dug into the bags, baskets, boxes and other storage, your search growing more desperate as you move through them, for that thing you loved and treasured and wanted to give your firstborn?

And when you located it, did you pause and ask yourself why you had kept it for so long, a little confused about why you had loved it in the first place? Or maybe your reaction is quite the opposite; maybe you stand amazed, wondering why you had packed it up- and how you had functioned without it all this time.

It’s funny isn’t it, how we form an attachment to things, then a few years pass, and we can’t seem to remember the who, what, when or why of that bond.

When we look back- remembering who we once were through the things we loved or still love- what do we feel? Too many of us feel regret or longing; few of us truly feel free of the past.

Even as we continue to feel the effects of decisions taken in the past or put away items that we once thought we needed, only to find that we fared well without them, we are separated from our past selves and few situations require us to revisit our past.

Something Old. Photo courtesy avalanchelooms.blogspot.com

As humans, we cling to those things which we come to believe give us power or strength. But things are inanimate. What can we hope to gain from leaning on these objects in this way? Why do we need the crutch?

It can be scary to take chances or try new activities; to dare to step outside of our comfort zone or walk the road less travelled. Sometimes the things we rely upon, are the things which represent a version of ourselves or are in some way symbolic of that which we draw strength from.

With the former, we can project our fears onto this “other” and feel a little braver thereafter. With the latter, it is usually our faith which sustains us. And it is in this way we thrive or endure tough situations.

And traditions are born. And generations learn to cope in this way. And this mechanism can be a beautiful one. However, as we pause to draw courage from our chosen source, we must recall that action is required of us.

And as for the objects we so love, they may change over time, as we ourselves evolve. But the process is the same, as is what may be gained: a degree of freedom from the anxiety that often makes us hesitate or retreat.

This is the beauty of cleaning out our closets every once in a while. We are reminded of who we are and what we believe, through the things we’ve collected or saved; loved and relied upon.



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