It's About Time
Escape the prison of belongings
Anything good taken to excess can become a negative, and today more people, me included, are realizing that they have crossed the line between having enough and having too much.
I'd like to share with you a new perspective, which is helping me get rid of excess.
The philosopher Bertrand Russell once said that it is possessions more than anything else that keep people from living nobly and freely.
The words "nobly and freely" really stir my soul, as that is how I long to live!
Achieving that freedom requires cutting off chains that bind and hinder.
Parting can be such sweet sorrow -- and painful, too. But I've come to realize that it can be more painful to continue to live with excess and be restrained, hindered and imprisoned by it.
I've put up a sign above my desk that says, "Does keeping this prevent me from living nobly and freely?"
With this end in mind, I've been able to let go of things I wasn't able to before, beginning with a tall pile of magazines I had been keeping for years. Certain magazines are so beautifully done that it was hard to part with them, even though I knew I'd never reread them.
Letting go of them has made me feel freer already!
One of my favorite TV shows is "What Not to Wear," which gives a subject a complete style makeover. In the beginning most subjects are resistant to change. In one episode a woman doesn't want to let hairstylist Nick Arrojo cut her unflattering long hair. Nick's patient and wise reply to her was, "It's not what we're cutting off, it's what you'll have left" (a shorter, stylish look).
The same applies to parting with our excess. It's not what we're letting go of, it's what we'll have left: being able to live nobly and freely. Now, that's what I consider a good trade-off, don't you?
I hope this perspective encourages you to break free from remaining in the prison of possessions.
Perhaps it's not possessions that are keeping you from living nobly and freely. Overcommitment, addictions or bad habits can be prisons, too.
Whatever it is, it doesn't have to be a life sentence.
If liberation is your desire, I encourage you to ask yourself, "Is holding on to this keeping me from living nobly and freely?" and then take steps to let go of that which is imprisoning you. Step by step it is doable.
And it's a most beneficial, worthy trade-off!
See you in two weeks!
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813, call 488-0288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org