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Spiritual decluttering

09/05/16

By Louise Mason

Let It Go wooden sign with a landscape backgroundSeptember arrives, and with it the transitional season of autumn. The autumnal equinox takes place on September 22, when the hours of light and darkness on Earth are equal. September also brings us the last bits of Indian summer and a taste of cooler temperatures to come. Spiritually, this month can be viewed as a time of balancing darkness with light, acknowledging impermanence, and letting go.

Henry David Thoreau knew something about letting go, noting in his “Walden” our natural and inevitable servitude to those things we own: “I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of.”

Letting go sometimes means organizing, or “decluttering.” Decluttering is a hot topic and a big business today. Multiple books have been written on the subject, and if you research the term on the internet, at least three links to businesses pop-up with promises of superior methods to help you get organized and even make money from your unwanted “junk.” Decluttering involves letting go – and as September marks the beginning of the fall season when the trees let go of their leaves, it is a prime time for us to let go of those things we carry around with us that have now become the “junk” that weighs us down. So much of what we hold onto is “more easily acquired than got rid of,” as Thoreau so wisely stated. What may have once seemed important or valuable no longer serves its purpose or holds its prominence in our lives. Unaware, we often hold onto the familiar darkness and block out the possibility of new light. Letting go means that we allow space for new opportunities and new energies, just as the leaves falling to the ground allow for new growth to take place.

Letting go also allows us to abandon our illusion of control and let God take charge – you may be familiar with the popular phrase “Let Go & Let God.” Remember that, whatever God holds for us, it is in our future, not in our past. In Proverbs 3:5, we are instructed “trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” What God holds for us is far beyond our limited, human understanding or imagination. We only need to clear our minds and hearts of earthly clutter, those “farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools” which block us from allowing the Divine spirit to fill us with all things new.


Louise Mason is one of  Lakewood’s chaplains. Contact Louise at lmason@lakewoodwestend.org.

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