Passions and people, not possessions

Ah, yes — spring cleaning. Clearing out what no longer serves us and making space for what does. I’m a big fan of Denise Linn’s work in this area and I really love her measurement for if a thing is clutter or not:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I use it?

If you can answer Yes to even one of these, the thing itself is not clutter.

Which means, clutter is subjective. Individual. Highly personal. Sorry, but your child’s collection of feathers (and possibly some naturally-harvested game birds’ feet, I’d advise not looking too closely) might be complete clutter to you — but not to her. (Perhaps she can keep it in a box under her bed, rather than strewn displayed in the family room.)

As we examine our belongings and decide what is and isn’t clutter, we are tuning in to and looking for what makes us happy. May we all remember, as we intend to surround ourselves with things that bring us joy, that it’s not actually the things.

We do not possess what gives us love.

I do not possess my husband, my children, or my dog. (Even though I call them “mine. Oh, the irony!). I do not possess the birds at my feeders, or the fox family in my yard. I do not possess the two friends who came to my rescue with messages of support when I badly needed help in a recent funk. I do not possess the act and process of writing. I do not possess holding a door open for a stranger.

May I remember that the feeling I am seeking to cultivate is not found in things. Through this lens, I make wiser choices about possessions, consuming, and — dare I say?– giving and receiving love.

Even as I revisit this every spring.

How about you? What are some passions in your life that you love? Which people come to mind? It’s okay to love your amazing vehicle and your display of Twins bobbleheads — just remember where the real love in your life is.

Honoring the funk, instead of doing a spiritual bypass.

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