Three months ago, on a bitterly cold and snowy day in early January, the home and store three doors down from mine started on fire and were ultimately destroyed. It was an emotional day for everyone on our block and it was one that I will not forget. Thankfully, everyone in the home was able to get out safely, but all else was lost.

The event was a vivid reminder for me that life can change in an instant. The items we spend years accumulating can be taken away from us so very quickly.   Yet, we have survived and, most importantly, life goes on without the “things”. We grieve, we shed tears and we get angry. We want to blame. We ask “why?”.

But slowly…ever so slowly…we again begin to smile…to laugh…to see a glimpse of light and hope in what is a very dark time.

We never forget the day that everything changed…that so much was lost…

But as the days…months…and years go by, we begin to see how much we gained. We see so much light. We are still here. Our stuff is not, but we are. 

As we move forward we realize that most of those things (the furniture, the clothes, the dishes) would likely have been replaced or given away after many years anyway. But when they are taken away without it being our choice, it hurts.

Almost 24 years ago, my home was lost in a tornado. This cold day in January brought all of my emotions to the surface from that hot day in August many years ago. The ones that I felt as the wind whirled by the truck I was in as the tornado hit. The ones I experienced as I tried to get into the house to find my sisters as the sky turned from dust and darkness back to sunny and deep blue.

And then the emotions I feel now, looking back, knowing that all is okay. Knowing that we move on…we are never the same, but we see rays of light that pull us forward…and we move on. We move on without those “things” that, at the time, it hurt so much to lose.

I know that intentionally letting go is much easier than having it taken from you. Most of us are attached to our things in some way. I challenge you to question this attachment. If “it” was taken from you today, would you be okay? Would you be able to see the light and move on without it?

When you let go of the attachment to your things, what space does that create for you (literally and figuratively)? What freedom now lies before you?  What dreams are now possible?

We often don’t understand the feelings and emotions of something until we’ve experienced it firsthand, but I hope this helps you to consider now what you can let go of, without having to experience the hurt. My hope is that you see only light and that you find joy in the freedom you create!