Monday, March 28, 2016

Bringing In, Taking Out

So many of our hours are spent acquiring--acquiring a paycheck, acquiring the tools needed for a task or the wardrobe needed for an event, acquiring the ingredients needed for dinner (or dinner itself, if we're not up to cooking). It is satisfying to have what you need, and for some of us, the thrill of the chase to get it can be almost as satisfying as the acquisition.

Yet, there are days when the acquiring becomes too much. When "bringing in" just overwhelms the system, not to mention our small living spaces.

It is on those days (and it would probably be good if there were more of them) that we turn to taking out--the process of not acquiring, but unloading--unloading what we no longer need, unloading what reminds us of things we would choose to forget, unloading what gets in our way, both physically and mentally. While bringing in gives us what we need, I would venture to say that taking out sometimes gives us even more of what we need. Bringing in the right outfit for an event may make us feel confident for a few hours, but taking out wardrobe items that make us feel "off" on a regular basis can make us feel better for days. Bringing in lovely things to surround ourselves may give us moments of joy, but taking out the accumulated things that surround us too closely can give us hours of peace. Having what we need may be a comfort, but chipping away to uncover what we really need can be a revelation.

In the midst of ongoing days of bringing in, we had a day of taking out. It is small, and the visible difference it makes might be almost INvisible. But it has made a difference--a little space in our home for bringing in when we want to, and a little space in our minds to bring in new things when we need to.

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