Let the Purge Begin

I’m sure many of you have engaged in a Fall or Spring cleaning.  That thorough cleansing of all that accumulated junk you’ve collected but never seem to have a use for.  Or that you’re storing knowing, or at least thinking, that you’ll use that Stuff someday for something.

Well it’s time for a big purge at my residence.

But the purge I’m talking about is not just about physical Stuff, it’s about the mind.

Yep, our minds get cluttered too, especially as we become more and more a captive to the material world.  In our culture, people are taught to measure their self-worth in terms of how much and what kind of Stuff they have.

That big mansion on the hill.  The multitude of fancy cars in the drive.  That boat and jet skis in the separate boat garage on the far side of the house.

In fact, when I was exploring the world of online dating, I was once told that the price of admission for dating a particular woman was having jet skis.  For another it was a motorcycle.  Another wanted me pay for her plastic surgery.  Another wanted me to maintain her country club membership.  And yet another insisted I had to earn at least $135K a year – to support her playtime.

It was all about the Stuff.

All material measures of who you are.  Or at least who you might think you are.  Or who others might think you are.  The bigger and flashier the bundle of Stuff you lug around and display, the more attractive you are, the more dateable, right?

I don’t think so, but that’s just me.  I like getting to know other people’s souls 😊

But excuse me, I’ve diverged a bit 😊

As many of you know from following my posts, I retired a while back.  And then I started traveling a bit to knock some of those always-wanted-to-see-places off of my bucket list.  But then another transformation or reversion began.

I liked being back in motion.  I loved being back in motion.

I liked not being tied to any one location, having a new destination down the road to wake up to.  And I liked only having to manage the minimal amount of Stuff I carried about in my car.  Reality – once you get out and live for a bit of time longer than the average vacation away from your home (that home chocked full of Stuff) you start to realize just how little Stuff you actually Need to live.  And live quite comfortably.

All that other Stuff is dead weight.

In fact, you’ve become a slave to it.

And no, it doesn’t define you as a human being and especially not as a spirit being.

Sure, there can be emotional ties to some of that Stuff.  Some down right important sentimental value to things held onto and passed down through the family.  But think.  Think hard.  Just how much of that Stuff really has enough importance and meaning for you to warrant hanging onto it for a lifetime, to pass down that accumulated Stuff when you die.  Creating a burden of Stuff for your heirs that they have to lug around.  To add to their already burgeoning pile of Stuff of their own.

So enough time has gone by now for me to figure out my monthly budget, and I’ve gained enough experience to know just what Stuff needs to be carried along for the journey.  And for different types of journeys.

I’m learning more each day about where I can temporarily lay my head in places where the Stuff is not mine and enjoy those places so much more without the burden of keeping track of and maintaining a whole bunch of unnecessary Stuff.

In a way, it’s a return to those two years in my early twenties when I packed up the car and bummed around the country, only now, I actually have a steady check coming in instead of living meal to meal and gas tank to gas tank.

And I think the real freedom that is felt from this lifestyle comes from not just the motion, and not just from the new people and magical places we see along the way.  The real freedom comes from unburdening your mind and spirit once you let all of that attachment to the physical material world go.

When you get rid of Stuff, you are not getting rid of parts of yourself.  You are freeing parts of yourself.

None of this Stuff truly makes up or bolsters our ego identities like our society tries to convince us.

So, I’ve started the big purge.  Going through absolutely everything I own and disposing of everything I don’t need.  Sure, I will retain a few items that I’m not quite ready to let go of my attachment to, but I’ve found it gets easier and easier over time to lose more and more of those attachments.

And what better way to start than to go through old photographs.  Those captured pictorial moments frozen in time that represent memories gone by.

Frankly, I surprised myself yesterday and I discarded fully two-thirds of those old pictures.  Pictures that were redundant, that were bad shots, images that had faded into obscurity, that I couldn’t even remember the reason for having taken them.

They made a nice fire.

And they weren’t needed in anyway for me to retain memories of places, persons or events that were actually important to me.  That Stuff did not serve as some kind of special documentation or proof of anything about my character, my personality, or my spirit.  Or my life.  Period.

I didn’t need them to prove anything to anybody.  Particularly myself.

Today, I’ll continue.  And with each piece of Stuff I eliminate, I feel lighter and lighter.  Like a hot air balloon rising into the atmosphere as those sand bags are cut loose from the basket . . . losing the weight of ego attachments, gaining a higher perspective of life, feeling free to live again.

In Metta


Photo: Those old pics made a nice little fire last night.  Fire good 🙂




22 thoughts on “Let the Purge Begin”

  1. ll sparkly energy to you for your purge. I purged ten years ago and got everything down to one carload I could take with me. My Mum thought I’d lost my marbles at the time, but the feeling of freedom is priceless and yes, it does de-clutter your mind at the same time. xX

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Back in my twenties, I had cut my possessions for travel too and they all fit in my car. Bounced around the country that way for 2 years. As I re-acclimated to a more traditional life style, my new wife was extremely fearful that I had my survival gear in the trunk of my car. She thought I would just wake up some day and leave her. So I unpacked and then began the collecting. Our ultimate divorce 5 years later trimmed me back again, but the next marriage of some 26 years was horrible in terms of accumulation. That divorce was helpful, once again, and I accumulated less this time. It gets easier all the time to leave it all behind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bold, or foolhardy…I was 21 and running! I had my clothes and the embroidered pillowcases my Mum made for our engagement. I then called my parents in England to announce my divorce and to gently (I am sure I said it gently) let them know I was staying there for a year at least. I had to prove I could crack it on my own. I think a few sparks of that intrepid soul are still within. I certainly recognise them in you, H. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, our stuff! (George Carlin did a great skit about our STUFF, have you heard it?) It seems we come back full circle with our possessions. In our 20s/30s we are so into accumulating (house.car.kids.pets.things), we might do some more in our 40s, but then 50s and beyond, we realize that this stuff doesn’t define us and is a burden that must be dealt with by us or worse, given to our kids to deal with (yucky for them). I guess that’s why “How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter – The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson is so popular.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have heard that skit. Carlin always gives me a good laugh. 🙂 When my former father-in-law passed, I took his estate through probate for my ex, for free of course. Even a small estate presents many difficulties for the heirs as they try to figure out what they want to keep – things that have no meaning for them at all. And jealously and infighting always loom. When my father passed, all of his assets went to my mom. But before she passed, we helped her liquidate most of them and she moved in with my oldest brother. By the time she passed away, there was no estate to transition with – incredible ease for the family. The book you mention sounds intriguing and I’m always up for a good read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For different reasons…putting life back together after a shatter. I am moving partly because of situational need and a desire for a comfort that is more me, but I have purged a little. I commend you on the volume to which you are able to do this. I enjoyed reading your words. They were something I needed to see and it resonated. It helped me with the twinges of guilt about ridding myself of things I have come to realize do not change the love or the memory. They are part of my soul and my soul does not need STUFF to prove or remind.
    Thanks for your words. They have touched a special part of who I am becoming.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So glad it resonated. And I hope your move goes smoothly. There are, naturally, a few things we all wish to hold onto for various reasons, but even those do not define us, and as you noted, our soul doesn’t need stuff. Our hearts are big enough to carry around what we need 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Robert! It is amazing, and sad, how people can be so distracted on one of the most basic things. I saw where the daughter of a FB friend of mine had once posted: “If you don’t contribute to my pocketbook, then you don’t matter.” I guess that sums up the materialistic lens a lot of people wear today. And BTW, September has been a crazy month, just getting back to the blog. I’ll be over to visit your page today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like that saying! Works for me! On the subject of my own blog, I’ve not posted for ages, my spine is healing well and life is now being lived to the point where I am having little time to sit down. It’s like I’ve been reborn. Still, I have a shed load of new photographic material which I cannot wait to share over coming months, once I have time to catch up on processing.

        It’s good to be alive, H! 🙏
        Great to hear from you!
        All the very best,

        Liked by 2 people

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