“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
When I was younger, I was incredibly smart. I would handle life through boxes. Arguments, nightmares, issues and questions all lay in beautiful boxes in my mind. When I felt incredibly strong or too weak to hold down all the lids, I would sit down to peek inside one or two. I would lift the boxes up and diligently study their contents from all angles. Then an hour, day or week later, I’d pop the lid back on and smile at it’s safe confinement.
When I was young, I was clever. My hamster died and I popped it in a box to bury it. I dug a hole and in went the box. And when I felt incredibly strong or too weak to resist, I sat down and dug it back up to look inside. Luckily (I say that with full perspective now), I hadn’t left it too long so I saw only the first stages of disrepair. What went in the box was not what was in the box then. It was a version of, but with no air flow, it was morphing into something more sinister.
When I was younger, I used to have a recurring dream as I fell asleep. There were boxes in boxes and I was falling through them, ever deeper and darker. When I landed, I was the size of a pea in a land of boxes in boxes, small and irrelevant, powerless and prostrate.
Now that I am older, I feel stupid. Because I am having to do the very thing I always shied away from when I was young. I’m ripping the lids off. Off everything. Now that I am older, I’ve realised that there is nothing natural about boxes. There’s no flow in boxes. Therefore things can’T grow, they can only be caught in a false stagnation. And that stagnation can only be fuelled by whatever environment you’ve created in your own mind. Mine was stuffed high with boxes, no space for new thoughts, patterns or inspiration. The past doesn’t belong in boxes, only ever as pages in an ever-growing book.
Now that I am older, I realise it’s not about feeling smart or stupid, it’s about feeling the flow. It’s about allowing things to move through your life as they most naturally will. Just as I wish that I could bottle up summer but then love crisp winter days, all things need to pass. Just as it is rare to have a lifetime friend, it is rare that any given memory will serve you well for all your days. Just as you would never choose to live in the same room for your life, nor should your brain have a never-changing stock in its warehouse.
This week I lifted a lot of lids and I relished in the excitement of feeling flow just that little bit more.