A (surprise!) ceremony of releasing

I wrote the following in a private group chat two weeks ago and it feels right to share it here, now:

Yesterday was amazing and I’m still in awe of the reduction I experienced. I want to document it.

[I had some important papers to find but it doesn’t really matter why. The papers] were safely stored in the fireproof box. Along with a 3 to 6 inch stack of envelopes containing my receipts from the 90s. This is not a metaphor or proxy, I am talking about literal, paper receipts. {But OH MY MAUD is this an amazing metaphor for me!}

These receipts were for books, CDs, clothes, household goods, art & donations. The kinds of things I bought for myself in early adulthood (from college & grad school). And they were sturdy! We apparently used real paper and permanent ink to make receipts in the day. We would clearly read some of these receipts from 1992! I’m in awe.

So 14 yo [offspring] watched as I carefully went through the pile, to make sure no important papers had inadvertently gotten into these stacks of receipts. Of course I reminisced. Told him about college and grad school. And I remembered that basically the first things I bought when I had money of my own to spend beyond rent and food was books and music. And then when I started getting some real money: art. And as I type this I know this is a core part of me, at least in this life {wink}.

14 yo thought this trip down memory lane was pretty amazing and he could not (a) imagine saving receipts and (b) that receipts were once made of such permanent stuff. As I gathered it all up to put in the recycling bin, sweet 14 yo checked in with me, “Are you sure you want to do this? You could reminisce again when you’re 90.” {note to self, ask 14 you just how old he thinks I am…} And I said, “Son, do *you* want to carry these receipts around with you someday? Take them to college with you, maybe?” Laughing, “No.” So off they went. {Reading through this to proofread I am realizing “Laughing No” is a GREAT BIG CLUE}

Walking back inside from the recycling bin, I finally remembered why I had saved these receipts, in the fire safe box of all places. I had saved them so if I ever had a fire or a break in, I could prove to my insurance how much all my preciouses were worth and how expensive they were to replace. (I know! Right?!) I remember getting the fire proof box when 16 yo [offspring] was born, to safely store all the identification papers. And I threw those receipts in there. For safe keeping. Like, literally.

I’ve looked at those receipts every time we’ve needed to get those ID papers or add to them. When 14 yo was born, when we registered them for school, when we bought a house. And each time, I thought, “I need to get rid of these receipts. These aren’t needed. But maybe they’ll distract anyone who wants to steal our identities?” {{Y’all? For real? My monsters are downright odd sometimes.}}

And yesterday. Yesterday. I was able to actually release those mementos of joy (buying my own books!) and fear (someone could steal my books!). Holy Maud I am amazed at the power and grace of this Now Me. It was easy to gently reminisce and let go. My nervous system/monsters softly whined a little, like old dogs dreaming, but they were easily soothed.

{Deep loving sigh for Now Me and Incoming Me. You gals are so awesome I love you.}

My op for today is to revel in this Now Me who can easily release the past and kiss old fears in the most loving and healing way. Astounding. I am astounded.