Perhaps it’s just me, but I am not the sentimental type. I enjoy the occasional laugh about a funny past experience, but rarely do I go deep into contemplation about how things were during a different time of my life. I have lived several lifetimes in just this one. Ten years ago seems like a chapter in someone else’s book. My twenties are something to be admired because I was trying to figure out what I know now, but going back there in my mind is like visiting a ghost town. There is nothing for me there.
Sentiment is not my thing. I have a handful of material treasures that I keep because they mean something to me, but I try to keep those meaningful things to the bare minimum. I don’t like being attached to material items, or to memories. It’s not because I am cold or that I lack depth. It’s simply because I’ve witnessed too many people being held back by their sentiment, and stifled by holding on too tight to the past. Many people do not like “letting go” of anything. The fear of letting things go is much more difficult than the actual process of letting go, however. There is no pain or sorrow after you have moved away from that which you were holding onto. Clearing out the old makes room for the new. I am constantly making room for the new.
I’ve walked into homes that feel heavy with sentiment. There’s a stagnancy in this type of behavior. You can feel it in certain places, around certain people. It’s a heavy feeling; sometimes it’s also empty. After two-plus decades of being in the real estate profession, I suppose I am just sensitive to energy in rooms, I’ve entered into thousands of homes. You can feel a divorce. You can feel abuse and neglect. You can feel heartache from a death. You can also feel when someone is in complete acceptance that life is changing and they are ready to move on. There is a lightness to that way of being. You cannot hold on to anything in the physical realm. Nothing here is eternal.
In recovery, it’s so important to constantly let go. If you hold on to the past, it will take you out. If you hold on to the moment, it will swiftly pass you by. Regrets are futile. Life is about shedding old skins and growing out of old ways. It’s in constant movement. It’s a river of change. Once you embrace the movement, you will be set free. The eternal stuff is invisible. It’s wisdom and knowledge. It’s your soul – that part of you that keeps being, even when everything around you keeps a-changing.
When I think of myself twenty-five years ago, I recall being on rollerblades upon a levee. I skated to high school on that levee each morning. Sometimes I go back to that teenaged girl and stand back inside those rollerblades. I look down at myself and see that my body has changed significantly, yet I am still me. Back then, I still felt like me – the way I feel now – and it kind of blows my mind how I have always been me, no matter the circumstances. I’m always this person with the same mind, the same sense of humor and the same concerns. Back then I was just as curious and adventurous as I am today. That was me, and THIS is me. It’s such a strange thing to stand back in those rollerblades upon that levee, realizing that I felt the same then as I do now, because it has always been me. The innate ME has not changed, although mostly everything else has.
It’s incredibly profound to know that no matter what occurs (as long as I am still here), I won’t disappear or fade. No matter what is taken away from me in life, I am still me. That ME has always been here, and I have learned to really love her. I think that’s what we should be focusing on – you know – the eternal. To learn to love and accept that being of who you are, no matter what occurs and changes around you, is where the focus should be. Why? Because the only thing you’re guaranteed to have throughout your life, is YOU. Nothing else will remain the same, so the best thing you can do is embrace who you are and learn to love yourself. Everything else you can let go, because those people, places and things will change and fade. Anchor yourself in who you are, not what you have, and you will discover that you are truly everything you’ll ever need, and more.