Stuff does not fill gaps

Day 540.

Revelations happen when you least expect them.

After the break up of this most recent relationship, I collapsed into a very small space provided by a good friend. The perfect space for my recovery. I had lost a lot – mentally, physically and financially. Here, I was surrounded by solitude and nature – lots of lovely fields and orchards. It was remote. I lived there for almost three years.

Earlier this month I moved into my own space. A beautiful big space – in a buzzy, social location. I am full of gratitude. But as I sit here weeks after the move, I realize the house is STILL full of boxes! I’ve not made much of a dent.

I did not have all this when I collapsed into my tiny recovery space. How did this happen? When did this happen?

I ponder. During these last few years as I was recovering from both an abusive relationship and my own abuse of alcohol, I was – on autopilot – assembling an imagined life for myself. A life where I was once again my happy, positive, socially active self. One where I entertained with parties (I do love to nurture and cook) and gathered together old and new friends.

However, the buying of stuff was all built on having that life, rather than the reality of having no life.

And now, as I sift through boxes I collected during recovery, I feel overwhelmed by the physical evidence of how I strove to fill the emotional gaps in my life – the cry for love, the cry to be in the middle of my own life once again.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely stuff.  Lots of spices, ingredients, jars, bowls, equipment and cooking utensils. Serving dishes, plates, flatware, linen, books, music, scarves, clothes, furniture – many, many things of beauty. Recipe books from around the world, as well as books I want to read. Lots of multiples of things as well – part of the problem.

I realize that my STUFF collecting must end. I now have to move this accumulation back out of my life. I drank to stuff down feelings (literally stuffing down inner stuff with outer stuff!). I bought stuff to will myself into the next iteration of my life. My next iteration is here – no need for collecting – time to start living!

If you’ve not seen comedian George Carlin talk about stuff – you owe yourself that belly laugh and eye-opener with his legendary and very deep routine about our stuff…

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