Storage SolutionsI am a very organized person. I keep things categorized and filed and stored properly. Great for me.
In my upstairs closet I have a large box. In it are stored those things that represent lost love. In no particular order those include:
a dog leash and collar, a baby blanket, some baby toys, a polka-dot sundress, an etched bottle, a racing T-shirt, and some little-kid hand-drawn pictures, among other things. I have learned that it is best not to open this box too often, as the sight of these things will bring me to my knees often. But this box is necessary because the pain is real, and cannot and should not be ignored. In fact, sometimes I open it just so that I can feel what it feels like to close it again.
Of course it is symbolic. While opening it makes me feel weak, closing it makes me feel strong after a bout of crying. Embracing pain and recognizing it for what it is, is part of life; any good therapist will tell you that. But life is also about experiencing new things knowing full well that they may, if not immediately, at least someday, cause hurt and pain.
For me these new things are represented as a big box tied with a bow. Maybe I open it with trepidation, but also anticipation, because there is always the chance that inside there might be breathtaking surprises and joy. It is worth the risk. People who genuinely embrace life know this.
Whenever I place something in the box in the closet, a little part of me dies.
Conversely, when I untie the bow and open a new symbolic one, I feel a part of me is reborn. It is a cycle.
Learning how and when to open and close these boxes is maybe what we are supposed to learn in this life, but I haven't figured out how to control the boxes in my head, the memories, the dreams. It is a little harder to organize that mess, but I am trying, and that's all I can do.