I would like to share with you a recent aha-moment I had that has completely transformed how I view the things of my life. In the past few weeks, I have shared with you my reflections on letting go things, especially when they are gifts from your loved ones. Today, I will share with you about letting go things that were gifts that you happen to loose.
As you read about my story, think of some item that you lost, misplaced or somehow got destroyed or is no longer in your possession. Some item that you cherished so much, still due to various circumstances you do not have it anymore.
For me this item is a single earring. I received a beautiful pair of earrings from my husband on our wedding anniversary. It is lovely earring made out of silver into the shape of a gingko leaf. All elements of this gift are endearing to me, the choice of metal- silver, the occasion- wedding anniversary, the fact that it was locally hand-made in Asheville by Stuat Nye, the motif- gingko leaf which brings us fond memory of our late granny (my husband's fathers' mom) who loved gingko trees.
One fine late fall day, my husband and I went for a walk by the French Broad River. It was quite cold that day so I was warmly dressed and I had a warm wool scarf on and I had my lovely earrings on. It was not long before I realized that one of my earrings had fallen off, perhaps entangled in my wool scarf, which has a track record of entangling with my jewelry! Both of us retraced our steps through the gravel, the bank of the river, and the spot near a tree where we sat and watched the flowing river. We looked everywhere possible. No earring!
At the time, I was feeling quite fine about the situation. Things get lost. It is just an item. All is well, I thought and we moved on with our day.
I got home and put the remaining earring from the pair next to our Buddha statue in the bedroom. In the next few weeks, I moved the remaining earring to various parts of the house, not knowing what to do with it. It is a lovely silver piece by itself, beautifully hand-crafted and it was a gift. How could I just get rid of it, I thought. But now after some time, every time I saw the earring, I was reminded about the one that was lost. It was as if I did not even see the earring that was in my hand. All I could think of was the lost earring and the fact that my wedding anniversary gift was now unusable. A certain low energy would come over me, as I went about my day, instead of the joyful feeling I had every time I wore my treasured gift. And I did not like the feeling I felt each time I saw the remaining earring.
So, I decided to share with a close friend about my ongoing challenge to deal with the lost-earring-syndrome. She listened and shared her ideas to help me resolve it. I also shared my feelings with my husband in another walk by the French Broad River. In the course of these two conversations with wise souls, I realized what truly mattered to me in this situation:
1. The remaining earring is a teacher; reminding me to notice what I still have, instead of what is lost. It helps me to be grateful for all that I have and all that I experience.
2. The earring pair represent the love my husband feels for me and is a symbolic gesture of that love, but it is not the love itself. In losing the earring, I have recognized the deeper dimensions of love I experience daily.
3. The lost earring is teaching me the precious lesson of letting go; of being at peace with how things are and being at peace with the changing flow of life, instead of holding tight to how things are, and instead of wanting things to stay the same.
4. The earring reminds me to let items and things be who and what they are, as themselves, to stand for their own inherent beauty and craftsmanship. The pair of earrings reminds me to free things of the burden of being a placeholder for sentiments such as love and to fully open up to love that I express and the love that I receive.
5. The lost earring is a wise teacher who in its disappearance leaves behind all these precious lessons that help me experience life in deeper, richer, more meaningful ways than before.
6. And most importantly, the entire episode has helped me be happy and peaceful, regardless of the changing status of things and objects around me; a very useful thing indeed!
This earring episode was on the surface a minor experience. It was 'just' a small earring I had lost, no big deal, I consoled myself. But the losing of it pricked at something within me. When I looked carefully, I found precious gems that were hidden just below the surface. I am grateful for wise friends and teachers helped me along and who continuously are sharing freely their wisdom, understanding and compassion in my life. And I am grateful for the lovely earrings and the artist who made them with such love and care.
Now it is your turn! I invite you to look at your own experience of losing something, even your own so-called 'minor' incidents. Look a bit more closely, and see the glittering gifts they carry for you, just beyond the surface. It may be a turning point for your life in a way never imagined, bringing in greater peace and understanding towards yourself and greater compassion for others.
With love and blessings,
Take a moment to notice all that you have.
The things, experiences, love, blessings, beauty, community, nature, abundance, creativity, adventures, family, friends, wisdom that are endowed with right now.