Out with the old

There comes a time to let go, even when we don’t want to or feel ready. I am so sentimental. I assign meaning where it doesn’t belong and I attach to people, places, and things so easily.  It’s endearing and annoying.

There was a season in my life about 10 years ago when I was so stuck both personally and professionally. I saw absolutely no way out of either situation.  I felt the dread and despair of living life so misaligned with joy and purpose. It felt like the life was being sucked right out of me. I feared this was going to be my reality for a long, long time.

I can’t remember exactly when or by whom, but I was introduced to the tool of “acting as if”.  The principle is that you envision the changes you want to make in your life and slowly begin acting as if you already have these things or are living this way. It couldn’t hurt to try but I had no idea where to start.

I remember the day. I was wandering through a store, mindlessly sorting through the stress and overwhelm when suddenly I saw it. A simple, yet powerful little red couch that just spoke to me. “That’s the couch to your new office.” I heard boldly inside of me. Wait… what?!? “Yup, you heard me… buy that couch. It’s the starting point for your new journey.”

I wandered around for quite some time pushing back on the instinct. I was a planner, a “figure-outter”, and this made no sense at all. I spent so much time on all the reasons that decision was so foolish and looking at the price tag made me even more convinced that that “knowing” voice, really didn’t know anything at all.
But it wouldn’t stop and I found myself unable to quiet it.  So, I did the thing that made the least sense to me. I bought it. That couch sat in my garage, wrapped in plastic for well over a year.  There were days when I still thought the decision was crazy and a foolish starting point.  But what I was unaware of, is that in the making of that one decision, energy had been set in motion.  It’s like the seed that begins to germinate under ground. Something far more powerful than myself had been put in motion and now it was my job to sit back and wait.

From that moment on, so much just fell into place. It’s like the Universe just needed me to make that one faithful leap and It took care of the rest.  It didn’t happen overnight.  It took well over a year. But like a child coming to full term in its mother’s womb, this plan needed that time to come to full fruition. It was a beautiful and yet painful process.

But hold the phone… that was 10 years ago.  That couch has been the symbol of “acting as if” in my life and I’ve told the story so many times. It has held the joy, laughter, sorrow, and tears of hundreds of my clients. That couch represents courage, bravery, and faith for myself and my clients. Day after day, it has literally held the space for so many. But as I sat across for it one day I realized, it’s time.  I saw the worn, tattered arms. I saw the sagging cushions and just like the moment on that showroom floor, I knew. It was time to let go.

But here’s where the sentiment comes in. I was so attached to that couch. It was a reflection of so much of my own growth and courage. I truly loved that little red couch and now it was time to let it go.

My new stuff was delivered yesterday. Most have asked me “Do you love it?” Sadly, the answer is no. I loved my last stuff because of the meaning it held.  I like this furniture and it will certainly do the job. It is beautiful, classy and clean but it doesn’t hold the same power. No one will know, or quite frankly, even care about the old stuff. It will take me some time to get used to the new and I’ll begin to realize, it’s not about the couch.  It’s about the power of holding space for people and the daily practice of bold courage that couch taught me so many years ago. But I sure am going to miss that little red thing!!

Told you I’m sentimental…