Releasing Old Selves

Quick HCG update: my ketosis levels limped through the weekend at “small,” so I made it to today’s final shot, as scheduled. Since I still have a couple more days of transition from this phase to the next, I don’t have a whole lot else I want to say about the topic for now. It’s a little bit like reaching my birthday and searching within myself, expecting to feel different — but I’m not really feeling all that different.

Instead, after skipping out on JALC for the whole weekend, I feel like writing about some of those weekend activities. Call it the “Endless Unpacking Weather Report.”


As is my wont, I got some more boxes unpacked this weekend. The process for each box is slower than you might think, because of all the clutter that got boxed up in random assortments when we in such a hurry to pack up a year ago.

In my effort to make this new start a fresh one, I’m trying to be very deliberate during the UNpacking, assessing every item to feel into whether or not to keep it, and, if I’m keeping it, whether or not I have a sense where it will be living. (If I don’t have a sense if where the item will live, I sometimes invite myself to rethink whether it’s really something to keep.)

Osho Zen Tarot: Letting GoAnother technique I’ve been using is to pull cards on things to get some guidance about whether an “on the fence” item should be kept or added to the Goodwill pile.*

And for the record, there’s a LOT of “on the fence” items. I read something somewhere about how a tendency towards indecision can actually be a precursor to hoarding behaviors, and I would say that pattern has played out to some degree in my own life. I can definitely tie myself into knots now and again, agonizing about what decision is the “right” one — and I mean that in all sorts of life’s corners, not just with possessions.

With possessions, though, there’s often an extra charge to it. The things speak to me so strongly about different phases of my life when I was involved in particular endeavors or activities. Music studies, theater, my Ph.D. program, studying belly dance, leading an earth-based rituals group at Philly’s UU church. And so on and so forth.

It doesn’t make sense, but it’s hard for me to contemplate letting go of those old selves. There’s part of me that hangs on to the fantasy that I might re-engage with one of these old passions, so the old supplies might be needed, down the line.** And then, even with former paths where I know the door has closed, it still feels like an act of self-betrayal to let go of these talismans. Like somehow, if I release the objects, its as if I’m telling myself that that old path was a waste of time and energy.

So, by turning to card-pulling, I’m practicing my level of trust in Spirit, and reminding myself of the faith — the knowing, really — that every “wrong turn,” “abandoned direction,” or “closed door” has been an essential ingredient in bringing me to the self and place where I am today. As one of my consciousness teachers once reminded me: “You’re never NOT on your life’s path.”

And for the most part, it’s been a successful experiment. There’s still been a weird moment or two, when the cards have guided me to let go of something unexpected. Like when the guidance came through to put my copy of Canterbury Tales on the Goodwill pile. It was deeply puzzling, like becoming slightly unrecognizable to myself: as a Lit major, of course I should have Canterbury Tales on the bookshelf.  So what does it mean to that identity when that book goes away?

I guess it’s time to find out.

* I [heart] my Osho Zen Tarot app.

** I still remember how, when I started graduate study in music history, I purged some of my literature collection, as a sign to myself (and the world?) about how I was dedicating myself to musicology. Two years later, when I transferred out of musicology into a literature Ph.D. program, there were at least four novels I had to buy again. This has scarred me for life.


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One thought on “Releasing Old Selves

  1. Pingback: A Dance of Appreciation and Avoidance | Self-Love: It's Just Another Lifestyle Change

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