By JG Lewis
It’s like the off-colour sweater and unworn shoes resting in your closet.
At the time, whenever that was, they seemed perfect. You bought them on impulse, yes; but isn’t that when you make some of your best decisions? Not in this case. You’ve looked at them time and again, even slipped them on, on occasion, but they never made it much further than the mirror. Your head sunk in dismay.
They were just there.
You can’t wear them, nor can you seem to pack them up and give them away to the Goodwill. They belong to you, but you refuse to own them, like all that other ‘stuff’; the parking tickets jammed above your visor, or credit card statements and unopened emails…or un-returned phone calls. Ignored, but evermore on the mind.
It’s not just the physical things—it’s, bits, and stuff strewn about our lives—that continue to cast a shadow across the here and now. Even the intangible becomes tactile.
We all have thoughts that show up in the darker hours, over-amplified memories, or words stuck in the windpipe, along with the misguided metaphysical breath, shameful soul-talk, or full-throttle dreams of angst or anger. All your low-level attempts at stepping up to a higher ground, build up over time.
You like to think they are held at bay, but they surface, again, to remind you what was or shouldn’t have been.
We become hypersensitive to our un-lived dreams and time misspent, we continue to live there and continue to pay rent.
Own it. Just fucking own it.
As much as we can take pride in our accomplishments and things we’ve done well, we also need to recognize all the crappy stuff that splatters across our windshield. This is the mess that slows us down and reduces our vision.
We don’t do something because something else was done (or not done) years ago. Persons not even there, or places lived only in our subconscious, keep holding us back.
And we continue to find the stupidest reasons not to go there. It’s time to let all the stuff out. Make whatever attempt to say what needs to be said, give forgiveness or make amends. Speak now, off the cuff, or from the heart. Give voice to your doubts, your fears, or unreasonable reasons. Put them out there.
To not open up the proverbial Pandora’s box, or to refuse to breathe the scent of time gone by, prevents us from being whom we should be, or from living in the now. It becomes part of an emotional deficit you cannot acknowledge.
It belongs to you, and no one else, so you carry it through your private hell.
Clear it out. Find value in what is there; they are reminders, but maintain them only as memory. The lessons learned or bridges burned are from another time. The past has passed. What happened, what you had, made you what you are, but instead of allowing the baggage to weigh you down, use it to prop yourself up.
Look at how far you have come, instead of wishing you were back there. The misdeeds and temporary greed, the moonlight desires and liquid need. Own it.
Just fucking own it. Then move on.
Our minds may have infinite capacity, but couldn’t we better function with a little more room to breathe?
Editor: Dana Gornall