Finding My Future in A Trashcan

Posted on January 1, 2011


One of the great ah-ha moments of LBL’s life began with the sight of small pieces of a photo in the trash can in the driveway of her marital residence.  At first, what LBL was looking at made no sense to her.  LBL recognized the photo, one taken by Now Husband, of her on a camping trip, posed on the ground in front of their tent.   It was her favorite photo of herself, and his favorite of her as well.  For years, it had sat on the bookshelf of his study, and it had given LBL unending pleasure to see it each time she came into the room.  As she picked through the small pieces of the photo, her brain raced.  Although her ex and she had separated shortly before that day, the dissolution of her marriage was more understandable to her than the “dissolution” of that photo.

It took LBL a long time to accept that the photo was gone, longer still to make sense of what that meant.  If she could lose that photo, what else then, was at risk?  If she could lose that photo, what then couldn’t she lose?  The answers were “everything” and “nothing.”  The realization was shocking.  In that moment, LBL did the only thing she could.  She let go of it all.

That moment was to define all others that followed.  Her attachment to “things” disappeared.  It has never come back.  In a very real sense, LBL emotionally released all of the precious artifacts and hard-won possessions of her life.  While such items continue to nurture her and to give her great pleasure, they no longer define her.  And they no longer demand a permanency in her life.  They are merely gentle reminders of her past, while her focus remains firmly on her future.