Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No Longer Serves

I have a weird habit -- I am just starting to realize that I have such a behaviour but D says it does surface frequent enough to be a pattern.

He describes it as my tendency to get rid of things, things I really like, before it is taken away from me by an imaginary someone.

The back story is that one of my early memories as a 6 yr old involves having my favorite coat taken off me by my grandmother so that it could be given to a younger cousin of mine who wouldn't have been able to have such a coat. I was given my cousin's coat in "exchange".

I remember my mother coaxing me to be the "bigger" person because it was cold and I didn't want to give away my favorite red coat. I remember holding back the tears.

One positive outcome of this experience is that I find it extremely easy to give -- anything --literally -- I would give someone the shirt off my back. In fact I have Willed 8/10ths of everything I own to various charities.

The flip side is that I have been known to pry my most treasured possessions away from myself, when there isn't any real need to, to the point where, in the past, I've thrown out mementos and awards etc. when I didn't really want to, in the name of decluttering.

D feels it is my response to my early experience and to voluntarily give something valuable away is my way of controlling loss because it would be on my own terms and not by someone else's. It does make a disturbing amount of sense.

I haven't done that in a while (perhaps I have precious few things left...sadly) but now that D has pointed that out, I am in deep thought about this as I have an appointment tomorrow morning to get some of my more valuable hobby equipment evaluated for potential sale.

I would like to think that know I'm "onto it", and aware of it, I will make a decision purely based on its own accord and not led by some past imprinting that no longer serves me.


  1. Hi Middle Way,

    This post is intriguing. You have a smart husband, first of all, to have noticed something like that. So much of our current behaviour is due to past conditioning without us realising it.

    Living on your own terms is great though. Perhaps turning that around to keep the things you like simply because you like them, even though they take up space, would also be living on your own terms?

  2. Hi Daphne!

    Thank you for your insights. Keeping things I like simply for their sake would be a healthy thing for me to do -- time to erase the old programming -- it is disturbing to me how easily I can override how I feel, in the name of "progress" -- when it really isn't!