In my home office, I noticed that I had a bookshelf that became the collecting point for things that I did not know what to do with. While my work proceeded through the years, it became a resting place for things that once were important.
This week I decided to go through my shelves. Surprised by seeing things that were fifteen years old. Remembering their importance at that time. Now having no value in my life today.
Cleaning and organizing is supposed to have some value for us. It feels good to become more ordered in our surroundings. But that was not the awareness that stood out for me.
What occured to me was that the past IS the past. I could not bring back what was important fifteen years ago. I am sure there were many worries and decisions made around each of the papers that I found. But today they were meaningless. There was no emotion when seeing them.
Shredding them was easy. But for each of us, letting go of the past is not. We get confused that we need to protect the value of our past without betraying it for something different now or in the near future.
Our confusion surrounds how much time or money we spent in the past to achieve something. Thinking that all of it should have value today. Romantically recalling the struggles embedded in our past, desperately trying to justify their importance with respect to our future today.
Life is so fluid. Priorities, worries, and challenges all change as time passes. My bookshelf reminded me of this. Teaching me to remember the past while letting it go, for it has little connection to what is important for us to do today.