Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Lost Keys

Not long ago, I was convinced I had lost my keys. I searched high and low throughout my belongings, even using a spare car key for a short while. Just to discover they were somehow in my purse the entire time, never lost at all. As my significant other Bryan and I had searched, shaken and emptied my purse multiple times, Interdimensional socks...we joked afterwards that maybe they fell out of space and time, perhaps to that interdimensional place lost socks like to live, just to return when I was ready. Or perhaps that new semi-designer purse I was so happy to snag at TJ Maxx is of the magical "Mary Poppins-style" variety. If all the lost socks return next, I'll need more drawer space!

My lost keys represented a lesson I needed to hear. And for a time, I contemplated the many things I had "lost", including a great deal of writing from my youth, something I had tried to preserve, yet had somehow mysteriously vanished years ago.

Or the box that apparently fell off the truck during my last move, containing more writing still and all my precious piano books with the songs I actually know how to play. Anyone who once played the piano, yet fell out of practice, knows of what I speak.

A beloved possession
Or the backpack of my son's precious things stolen from my car a few years ago, including what was arguably one of the most beloved possessions in our entire home - the stuffed animal from his childhood. In a fire, I would have said it was the possession in the house I would have rescued first, right after the people and the pets. Yet one day it was gone, along with every single item my son held dear enough to transport from house to house, lending the consistency children of divorce often require. What a lesson THAT was for both of us, and imagine the challenge I had later that day sharing the news.

So what lessons are these seemingly trivial losses of possessions teaching me? Yes, I could venture into exploring even greater losses and grief, but this particular lesson starts with attachment to things, as well as finding peace in the present moment, no matter what surface-level annoyance attempts to cause a stir.

Attachment is often about fear of change. When we cling to the things in unhealthy ways, what we really fear is the disruption of change. Sentimental and familiar items anchor us with a sense of security, and there is nothing wrong with sentimentality, but the key to peacefully co-existing with such things is to know that we can be at peace even when they are gone.

Even lost keys can shine the light!Society can be sentimental too, clinging not only to things but to ideas, even preserving particular ways of doing things which may no longer serve us well. As I have said many times, the Earth is experiencing a quantum shift. I happen to believe that many of the things we have grown accustomed to are in for radical change.

If we "lose" aspects of our way of life that no longer support our evolutionary growth, do we view it as a tragedy? Or do we celebrate the possibilities? It's our choice.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Susan,

    This is a wonderful and important post. Thank you so much. I have been going through a time of great loss. In tandem with that, I seem to be clearing out a lot (and I don't keep much as it is). Anyway, responding to your questions, it feels like times of significant loss can be rich for letting go not only of that which has gone, but also of some of the associated "mental clutter," so we can open up our awareness. These times of loss and the accompanying changes can also be opportunities for personal growth and for expanding, in terms of being able to take in more and more meanings, perspectives, and gifts of our spirit, like courage, strength, and hope.

    Again, thank you. With great love,