If my life had to fit into two suitcases — what would I take?
People who have to leave a place in a hurry due to some tragic event (war, fire, earthquake) don’t get to choose how to fill two suitcases. They take themselves and loved ones. All possessions in that moment have no value whatsoever. In that split second they realize who they are is all they’ve got, and anything else is either replaceable, or can in fact be survived without.
Imagine having plenty of time to decide, but just two suitcases to fill. What would you choose?
My biggest dilemmas include:
- my mother’s brown and gold striped glassware set
- 300 CDs I hardly ever play
- heavy boxes full of photos I have not looked at since I got my first digital camera
- books I love and think I might read again
- Christmas ornaments that make a brief appearance in December
- childhood toys I have stored for decades.
Perhaps all I really need are practical clothes for this season.
Do I have to get rid of any of it?
Maybe not today; but eventually — yes. Possessions drag us down. Any memory associated with an object, lingers. If the item triggers bad memories of people or times we want to move on from, it’s highly advisable to let it go.
Denise Linn (space clearing and feng shui author) says that when considering whether to keep or let go of an item, ask yourself:
“Does this pick my energy up? Does it take it down? Or is it neutral?”
“Does this fit who I am? Does this fit who I desire to be in the future?”
“Will the freedom I gain by getting rid of this object outweigh any possible regrets I may have about parting with it?”
Things we think we are keeping for a very good reason, are actually blocking us from the life we most want.
Happiest With Next to Nothing
In 1991, I packed two suitcases and got on a bus from Toronto, Ontario with the intention of staying the summer in Regina, Saskatchewan. The freedom I found in big sky country made me stay. I used to think it was because of the friendly easy-going people, and the slower pace.
But maybe it was because I went there with only 2 suitcases of stuff. I had the freedom to move easily. My slate was clean and fresh. Nothing I owned defined me. I could be and become whom and whatever I wanted.
Like Denise Linn points out, we have to ask ourselves:
“Do you own these things, or do they own you?”
If, somewhere along the line, the role is reversed and possessions prevent us from being who we are and doing what we want, when we want, then we are enslaved by them. In order to be free, we must release all possessions that imprison us with mental attention, with burden on the body, or with heaviness of spirit.
If objects are not useful or uplifting, release them. Enable them to fulfill that purpose elsewhere.
Two Suitcases © September 6, 2011 | Annie Zalezsak
Beautifully written, Annie. As for me, I do not have the attachments to things but do have an attachment to people, which causes much distress if I am not ready to say goodbye or let go. Working on this and allowing myself the time to grieve for what I will no longer have does help a lot in easing the discomfort.
Thank you, Jacqueline. I think we all grow attached to people in life, that is part of being human. I don’t know if anyone is every ready to say goodbye!
My Daughter of 24 had just packed her entire live into one suitcase (after having been in Europe for 7 months ) left for the Caribbean indefinately …. I am brokenhearted BUT I admire that? Can you imgiane if people could take their eartly posssesions with hereafter?
Well written !!! Mari Cape Town