I sold my desk today.
No big deal. It was just a desk. Had some scratches and scuff marks. I bought a different one and didn't have space for both. So it made sense to sell it. A nice grandmotherly type came this afternoon and picked it up. And as she drove off, I felt like sobbing.
Being a counselor and a human being, I've learned to pay attention to those bigger-than-the-situation-merits emotions. Usually they have something to say. Sometimes they're yelling "you needed more than 4 hours of sleep last night" or "you're hot and hungry and grumpy". Those things are important too, by the way.
Other times those big emotions tell of past painful events that we've shoved down deep. The temptation, when they get triggered, is to muster all of our teeth-gritting strength and shove them down even deeper and lock the lid. When we do this, we miss an opportunity to allow pain to heal.
So as my desk drove away leaving me feeling like I'd lost my best friend, I didn't roll my eyes at my ridiculous self for crying over a piece of furniture. I didn't swallow hard and try to focus on the pile of work waiting for me on my [new and not quite so well-loved] desk.
I let the sadness surface.
The pain that surfaced was that of losing many belongings. When I was 9. When I was 16. When I was 23. When I was...
So many times in my life, I have had to part with items that were special to me. So many times, I couldn't stop the partings. Losing the desk reminded me of those losses.
Before I took time today to be grateful for the special belongings (and experiences and people and places) which have taken the place of those lost, I let myself feel sad over the loss of my special desk, and of special belongings in past yesterdays.
Just as we must exhale the carbon dioxide before we breathe in new oxygen, we must "exhale" sadness and pain in order to better "inhale" the small delights of today.
What have you lost?