I stood there looking at the suitcase of stuff I was about to store and I thought, "What in the world could it be filled with??? Some shoes the kids may grow into, but probably won't use because it's for cold weather, not island life... extra fabric for making cute shorts! To add to my collection of 20 pairs I already own... holy cow, I don't need 20 shorts! 3 unused bottles of hand soap... carry on bags, too many... tripod, reflectors, half my clothes, GoPro straps - completely unused, fabric cutting board... unused toys..."
I turn to my three year old "Love, which of these toys can we say goodbye to?" Then I think to myself, What of this can I really use? What adds value to my life?
I ended up keeping the consumables, one bag, my tripod, and fabric cutting board.
Taking the box to Goodwill felt good, but then I noticed something different when I got home. I looked in the mirror and felt stripped, unattractive, and boring. I have nothing. I don't have fancy furnishings to add to the atmosphere of my guests, I don't have awesome items that would spark conversation or give me opportunity to tell of the stories affiliated with them, I don't have clothes that would turn heads or make people say, "Damn, she's smokin'!" And while the statement of having nothing is entirely not true, this is the least I've owned and I really felt as if I had nothing to offer except myself.
Wait, what? Offering myself isn't good enough? So this is what it comes down to?
I would rather have someone interested in my story associated with a cool item in my home, instead of being interested in their story just because they're in my life? Or rely on things to create the atmosphere, rather than exuding positive, loving energy to share a warm, generous experience? I'll be uncomfortable in my attire, concerned with everyone else's judgements... Especially superficial ones that would be impossible to measure up to the infinite number of standards... rather than enjoy what I wear and know that people who like me, appreciate me for me, not how I look?
I am NOT my stuff.
I have more to offer than stuff ever could.
Digging deep wasn't fun. But it empowers me to get honest, get real, and give authentically. To remember that it's not about identifying with my story, but to identify with others so that we may share a connective experience and add value to each others lives.