Remember not that which has passed. Remember not the memories. But the lessons. It is only for that purpose that we remember, that we have memories, to understand what we need to learn, to then go ahead and learn it, and when we have learnt it, we must forget now. To forgive is not to forget the memory itself. To forgive is to forego any further action in reaction to that memory. It is to forget the need to respond. And if a memory no longer warrants an action or emotion from you, it no longer belongs to you anymore. You must give it back. You must create space for new memories by emptying out the old. If your closet is full, it cannot take on any new clothes. And it is the new garments that nourish, that allow for change, that bring a sense of excitement and newness in our lives. If we don’t actively pursue changing the contents of our closets, upgrading them, assessing and reassessing to see what we still need, what we no longer need, and what we are struggling to throw out, we won’t be able to see what has gone bad and is infesting the rest of our closet. We must always revisit our closets, and clean them out, just like we would our home. We must regularly declutter our souls to create space before we add new furniture.
Clearing our souls is no different than clearing our homes. Can you redecorate a house full of its original contents or must you take everything out first and start fresh? Then after you have decluttered and cleaned out your house, it is then that one can start to paint the walls and add picture frames and a coffee table. If one’s house is full to the point it compromises your movement, you risk getting stuck inside. You grow isolated and lonely because you can’t visit anyone and no one can visit you. There’s no space to move just like in a hoarder’s home. This is how people get sick, how they begin to feel at dis-ease within their own bodies all because there’s no space for their soul to move. And to move, one needs to create space for movement. So creativity is key to maintaining a healthy home for your soul. Our bodies are the homes that our souls inhabit and our souls can only endure a dirty home for so long. Many have died because they have resisted change. Many have died because they held on to too many memories, to too many emotions, to too much pain. They refused to let it out. To let it go. And that I believe is what suicide is. Our soul choosing to leave the dirty and congested house. The house where so much space is taken up by the past, by pain, that there is no more room for our soul to move. Our souls fall to overwhelm. They become tense, stunted, and unable to grow. And soon our soul chooses to open the door, or perhaps if it can’t reach the door it will opt for the closest window to leave. It is a choice yes. But it is one out of desperation. So let us clean our houses regularly, let us make a celebration out of it, let us set an example for our neighbours, for our children and our friends. Let us show that it is fun to declutter, that it is spiritual to forget, that it is an act of love for our souls to forgive.
It is for all those souls that have died because their houses were too full, their bodies too suffocating that I write this. It is for all those souls looking for the window to leave, I write this. It is for you that I say: Hold on just a moment longer. I had almost left my home through the window too, but someone had knocked on my door at the right time, and said, “Hold on. Wait a second. Do you need a hand cleaning up?”. And that saved my life. It is a moment of kindness that saved my life. A moment of mercy from the Universe. A second chance at cleaning my home. But I needed help. And I had to ask for it. So I would like to emphasise this point particularly that it is not enough for us to recognise we need help, but we must be intentional in our desire to receive help and actively pursue it. Help isn’t just therapy. Help comes in many shapes and sizes. Help can be admitting to a friend that you are not as okay as you might seem. It could be going on a hiking trip. It could be a dance class or a cooking one. It could be just writing in your journal. For me, writing helps me create space. Without it, I couldn’t move. It was writing that knocked on my door and said, “Wait a minute…we’re not done here. I think you could use me as you clear your house.” And indeed I used it to clear out so much. I will forever be grateful for that knock. Today, I would like to give back the knock that was once so kindly handed to me. As it is with our breaths, we must always exhale what we inhale, we must give back tomorrow what we receive today. And so let go of the love of yesterday, let go of the happiness of your childhood, and the sadness too. Make space for new emotions, new memories, new people. Even the most wonderful of memories held for too long will ferment, grow mold and eventually go bad. So let go and begin this new year clean, clear and light. It’s time for you to redecorate.