I hate her.
As I stare at the boxes of belongings going to the Goodwill, I hate the woman who bought all this stuff in the first place.
My past self.
What were you thinking?!? I demand.
This, of course, is the heart of the problem.
I wasn’t thinking when I bought all this stuff.
I was longing.
Longing to be.
I felt an endless ache for be-longing.
So I bought easily into the lie: You can buy in order to become!
Through the years, I’ve purchased dozens (perhaps hundreds!) of versions of myself.
My boxes of belongings are like the Barbie isle at Toys R Us:
The piles of card stock, drawers of punches, and boxes of photo albums still in shrinkwrap?
The mandoline with fifteen attachments, the ice cream cookie sandwich maker, and that 20-year-old stack of brand-new cookbooks?
Yoga mat, Denise Austin DVDs, and NIB cross-training shoes?
You won’t find evidence of Awful Evil Cheri in any of these boxes.
No, the problem is far more subtle.
The problem is that I’ve bought so many versions of myself, I haven’t been able to find my self.
My one self.
The woman God created me to be.
I’ve tried on so many different lives that I’ve failed to live my own.
Trapped by Belongings
I tried to satisfy my be-longings with belongings.
But my excess belongings ended up owning me.
My excess belongings have taken
- my money.
- my space.
- my time.
- my energy.
- my peace.
My excess belongings have stolen everything I need to discover who I truly am.
Free to Be
But here’s the good news:
As I surrender excess external belongings, internal transformation is occurring.
I’m noticing two things in particular:
1) I’m admitting who I am not.
I’m not a scrapper or gourmet cook or athlete.
Or any of the other versions of me represented by the stuff in my boxes of belongings.
I didn’t really long to be any of them
My longing went far deeper.
I longed to belong.
2) I’m finding space to be me.
I’m finding where I belong.
And to Whom I belong.
“Quite simply, every piece of clutter I give away gets me closer to the life I’m designed to live. One of peace. One of freedom.” (Pg. 35)
The more clutter you release, the better you can hear God’s call on your heart.
You’ll find that he’s not a cruel circus master, demanding that you live dozens (or hundreds!) of lives.
He’s a loving, rescuing shepherd.
Who will lead you into a spacious place.
Where you belong. With Him.
And where you can live your one life well.
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She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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