There are people in my clutter-clearing class who are struggling with releasing that which no longer serves them because of its value–or at least their perception of its value–because they really need the money they might get from selling those items. And it’s not one or two of us. No, this fear affects many. At times… even me.
This desire isn’t flawed. It’s brilliant, in fact. When we have unmet needs and desires, it makes sense to cultivate cash with the stuff that is no longer true for us. If it is genuinely possible to turn this stuff into cash, then wonderful. I say, do it!
For the sake of clarity, note that “genuinely possible” is the critical detail. For many of us, there are challenges… very real obstacles that make it unrealistic to turn this stuff into cash.
We may not have the computer skills necessary to utilize Craigslist, Freecycle, eBay, etc. We may not have time. We may live in a community where those things are not effective, or we may have anxiety about connecting with people through the Internet to sell to them. We may not have time because of our other commitments. We may be struggling with low energy or other physical and emotional realities that limit our ability to do what needs to be done to turn our stuff into cash. Even throwing together a yard sale may not be realistic because of weather and whatnot.
So then what?
What do we do to free ourselves when we can’t quickly turn this stuff into the cash we need? (Deep breath.) We release it back into the river that flows so abundantly throughout our society. Yes, we let it go.
We must dig deep and find the courage to choose to trust that the space we are creating by releasing what no longer serves us will attract what we need and desire.
We must recognize that space is the premium real estate–space to create, to dream, to dance, to prepare healthy foods, to connect with friends and family… to live. Space is freedom. Space is a vacuum that pulls into your life what is true for you. Space allows us to dream big, beautiful, powerful dreams, and space allows us to deliver those dreams into reality. Space is peace and love and joy.
We desire freedom. What we need is space.
If we can’t sell it… give it away.
Let’s find someone who has a need and meet it. Let us search our spaces high and low for those beautiful, useful, inspiring, hopeful, lovely, fancy, dreamy, comfy, simply, fabulous, crafty, happy, playful, practical, odd, warm, things that simply aren’t exactly what we need anymore. Let us gather them up and release them back into the world.
Donate them to organizations, churches, schools, families, and individuals who have a need. Reach out to your community and ask who has a need or desire that your stuff might meet. Who needs these dishes or blender or clothes or computer or car?
(Yes, I said car. Years ago, I bought a minivan and then gave away the car I’d been driving. It changed that woman’s life far more than what those few thousand dollars could have done for me at the time.)
Let us give these things a new chance to be enjoyed. Let us let our old inspirations, inspire another. What made us feel beautiful before can make another woman, man, or child feel beautiful tomorrow. Those things that comforted, helped, and empowered us in our time of need can go now and serve someone else.
This is about freedom, Wild One.
Let us be brave. Let us free ourselves from this obsession with lack, this lie of isolation, and the hopelessness of unmet needs. And as we free ourselves, let us be a light of hope for others at this very tender time when light, love, and freedom are life-changing gifts we all need.
One more thing. If people want to pay you for your treasures, let them. Pay-what-you-can works. This Sick of Being Stuck December (the aforementioned clutter-clearing class) is proof. Their needs for support and inspiration are being met. My needs are being met and the New Cars Fund is growing. (Yes, that’s plural. It was our good car that I drove off the cliff.) It’s just about opening up and allowing yourself to receive whatever comes to you.
It might mean full fee. It might mean exactly what you need to buy groceries to make dinner for your family that night. It might mean receiving something you need in exchange. It might mean something luxurious you would not have even dreamed of asking for. It might mean friendship or healing or blessings… and who doesn’t need more of those?
After my wreck, a woman I barely know loaned me a car to carry us through until a permanent car solution makes it way into my life. We are connected on Facebook because we met months ago and spent one night talking while waiting for her to be arrested at Occupy Nashville. She never got arrested and I never wrote the story but the connection was made and in my time of need, she and her husband had a car I could borrow. Every single day, dozens of times each day, I send them love and gratitude. We may never know all of the ways that this love-fest affected both of us but it’s good.
In the spirit of this morning’s epiphany, I’m extending the pay-what-you-can Sick of Being Stuck class for a while. Come when it feels true for you. It will at least be through the new year.
More love. More freedom. More possibility… for you and for me.