I am just about at the end of preparing for a move from Charlotte to Baltimore. Now when I think of the word attachment, I just laugh. A move does that to you –it points out clearly everywhere you are attached. I am attached to my house here. In fact I love it. I am attached to so many people here, friends I’ve come to love in 5 ½ short years. I am attached to knowing where to go to buy things, to get service, to go to the movies. I’ve known about this move since mid-April and I’ve been through many iterations of grief at leaving all that is here and excitement at what I might find in Baltimore.
Belonging is a need in me that is primary until I am established; when finally I feel at home, then I relax. It will be the same in Baltimore, I am sure: a year or so of seeking a place for me, then relaxation as I find it. I belong, first of all to God, but I also need human companionship and support. I need a tribe, a group, a way of being in any new home. The irony is that I have lived in several different areas before I moved to California: Louisville, Kentucky, Wilmington, Delaware and New London Connecticut. So it’s not as if I’m not used to moving, but maybe because of all those moves, the roots become even more important.
I look forward to the time that I’ll feel at home in Baltimore as I now do in Charlotte. There are so many fun things to do there and, I am sure, wonderful people to meet. If I relax about the roots, I’ll let the Spirit show me where and how. I’ll trust that Julian of Norwich was right when she said that “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” That’s my plan. Someone asked me about a church in Baltimore, and I laughed. God put a church before me the first weekend I was in Charlotte and I never had to look again. I expect the same thing to happen in Baltimore. The same with friends, spiritual direction clients, supervisees, close-knit groups on which I depend, volunteer work and everything else. I plan to let God take the lead and just let everything fall into place without any anxiety on my part.
The worse moment of this move came as I toured every room and closet with the estimator from the moving company. I was appalled at the amount of stuff that I had accumulated in 5 short years and I couldn’t stand the thought of unpacking the same useless stuff in Baltimore. So I have been through every file, and recycled, and been through every closet and drawer, and donated, and looked at every piece of furniture for its usefulness and thrown out or sold what wasn’t useful to me any more. What I saw in the extra stuff was the result of not deciding that I really didn’t need this thing or that. All the stuff was a reflection of avoiding decisions, until at the moment of moving, I am finally willing to decide. Yes or no. Sell or keep. I hope that in Baltimore I am better able to confront my own indecisiveness. Ironically, I am not a pack rat, but I clearly have a problem. I am setting an intention as I move to keep on top of the stuff, to keep it from accumulating anything I don’t need, to keep my life as simple as I can.
Besides the stuff I am amazed at how much grief I feel after only five years here: grief for place, grief for the people in my life, grief for the familiar and even grief knowing how lonely it can feel to be the new person in town. It’s not that I am crying from grief, but the grief seems to settle down on my like a heavy blanket. Once I realize why I feel so immobilized, I lift it up in prayer, asking for help in releasing it. Sure enough, in a while I start to feel energized once again, until it settles in again.
Do you have stuff that is weighing you down, that is accumulating beyond your needs? Could you be lighter, freer if you off-loaded all your stuff?