The Power of Stuff

Very recently a long time dear friend of mine & her entire family were affected by the heavy rain and flooding in South Louisiana.  At one point she had almost 2 feet of water in her house & it was still raining.  Along with both of her boys & her new husband, they had to leave their home in a boat as the water came in so quickly.  Her youngest, very pregnant sister, had to leave her home the same way.  And their parents, thankfully out of town, also had their home underwater.

So many home essentials gone.  Vehicles, gone. Collected & loved treasures, gone.  Cherished mementoes & family photos, gone.  In her words my friend went through a wide range of emotions which led her to a "huge baptism of ridding all things material".  What she & her family DO have are their memories and each other.

When we are faced with a crisis, what is really, truly important?  Our safety, our family's safety, including that of our pets, and knowing that if all we end up with is each other, that we will be okay.  Does that family piece of furniture or that autographed book matter?  Not as much anymore.

A very special client of mine who was terminally ill with cancer said, "Life is about relationships, not stuff."  She self admittedly claimed to have a lot of stuff.  Wonderful & beautiful pieces of memories from her career abroad for many years.   As much as she enjoyed having these precious items, she later told me that she wished she hadn't had so much, because in the end someone other than her would be faced to make a decision about what to do with it.  Cancer claimed her life just a few months ago, but her memory and her words will stay with me forever.

So as life races on & we get caught up in accumulating, let's take a quiet moment to ask ourselves what is really important at the end of the day.  Perhaps it's time to get out a big box to fill up with donation items for those struggling in daily life.  Or maybe it's time to clear out & purge the garage to make room for your car.  Whatever you decide is the right choice, reassess your stuff and realize that in the end, that's all that it really is.

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