It’s been a raining here for days. Normally, I love the rain. After a while it makes me just weird. As I mentioned in my last post, I am not the chick for flowery words. I just say stuff. Sometimes it’s well taken. Sometimes not so much. I believe in honesty. So to fully understand this post it must be said. A few years ago, I went through a terrible divorce. Welcome to the club no one ever intends on being a part of, I know. And I don’t just mean a standard we grew apart divorce. I mean a horrific life altering event. I am a survivor of domestic violence. It still seems unbelievable even to see it as I write. Had it not been for my friends and the hand of an almighty God, I would not be here today. Very few things I took with me. I didn’t have time. I literally went from a domestic violence shelter to a whole new city in what felt like a matter of minutes. In time those friends went back and got things from my house. Some of those things I still have now and others I chose to let go. Today I was in my garage when I noticed a storage container on our back patio. It was an old sturdy cardboard can (I suppose you could call it) with a metal bottom and a metal lid. I had it for years and it came from the coal mines where my ex husband used to work. I had stored various items in it over the years. Kids toys, Christmas decorations, and seasonal items had all taken their turn tucked safely in the “can with the metal lid”. I’m not sure who had taken it from the safety of the garage to the patio but I’m certain they had not planned for the rain we were getting. I immediately became furious as I told my wonderful husband now, “who put my can on the patio!!??” Of course, he had no idea, but named the kids which was certain. I went into a rant of “I know no one cares, but that is MINE. It’s of no importance to anyone else but it’s one of the few things I have left and it’s important to me!!!” “I know….I know” he said as he looked at me apologetically. I had immediate memories of when my ex husband brought several of those cans home and all the things that we stored in them over the years. It only took a few seconds before my mind started to wander. Can you guess what happened next? A chain reaction of memories of the terrible events that happened. It wasn’t planned. I didn’t expect it….and all over a cardboard storage container??!! I now have a garage full of shelves with matching plastic tubs that store everything nice and labeled neatly (thanks to my fantastically organized superman) Why on earth was I really holding on to that can with the metal lid? I can’t answer that question yet, but what I can ask is this: How often do we hold onto memories that we should really throw away instead of placing in storage? We all have times in our lives we wish we could just find a delete button to erase from our minds. Often we hold onto pure garbage. We place it in storage in our minds and find ourselves back there at unexpected and inopportune times. What makes a memory worthy of holding on to? Why are the bad memories so often easier to remember than the good? Sometimes we have to make a conscious effort to clean out our “storage containers”. We have to sort through our “junk” and learn to let things go! Science says we only use 10% of our brain. That means I do not have room to store garbage I no longer need. We have to learn to properly honor our memories. Sometimes that means laying them to rest once a for all.
Contributing Editor: Bambi Pate-Powell