Uncluttering the Heart
There it was, the writing on the wall: everyone could see it, could see it was written to me, and yet I could neither see it clearly nor take it seriously. My family could see it, my friends, and my doctor: “You Need to Stop Doing What You are Doing.” I thought I was working. Everyone else thought I was beating my head against a brick wall. I didn’t want to give up something I’d created from scratch, from literally nothing. I didn’t want to give up the dribbles of income, to close the lid on the brand, the items, the network, all because it was mine in every conceivable way and I’d put everything I had into it–my time, my energy, my health, and most of all my heart. Surely if I kept the faith and worked hard, I would be rewarded with a living from it? But it wasn’t happening.
I’d put my heart into a lot of other things, too, over the years. Other businesses, hobbies, homes, and relationships. If you live life with any kind of passion at all, the heart will get involved. After a while, though, it becomes impossible to hold on to everything, to keep the torch burning for unsustainable or unrequited passions. There’s a point where you realize your whole heart has gone into sustaining everything but your own true self.
Lesson: You are not your passions. Letting go of pursuits, ideas, activities, jobs, hobbies, and roles in life is not the same as betraying yourself. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you persist in identifying yourself with the passions of the past you’ll likely betray who you really are in the present.
So just as it is time to look at all the old stuff you’ve saved in the attic and the basement and hauled around from place to place, maybe it is time to look at all the baggage you carry in your heart and let it go. Instead of giving so much precious heart-space over to pursuits and goals which are no longer realistic or sustainable, send them packing. Acknowledge the enthusiasm and the passion and the love you once felt, then move on.
But wait–what was that you caught out of the corner of your eye? Hmmm. Nothing. Move on, nothing there. And then there it is, some remnant of past passion tagging along, sorta stripped down from what it had been, and looking pretty fresh and useful for all it has been through. It’s the best of what was left. So you happily give it a ride on your shoulder as you move on into the present day and the day after that.
You’ve got an uncluttered heart, the best of what had once been, and the start of a beautiful friendship.
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