On my journey of purging and trying to live more intentionally I knew there was still much work to be done. So far, none of the purging had "hurt" and although the goal wasn't to deprive myself or inflect emotional pain on myself, I knew that it had been too easy. About two weeks ago, I got a nice smack of reality and realized just how far I hadn't come....
An acquaintance of mine is going through a BIG life change and in doing so, she is basically starting over and in need of almost anything for herself and her two children. When I first read her request I was mad at myself that just the week before I had loaded up my car, TWICE, and hauled all of my purge items to our church. If only I had known a week before I could have given her soooo much! Then God whispered, "You still have plenty to give." I went through my house in a panic, looking for any "extra" things I had to donate and all I could find were items I used, loved, "needed". I quickly garbed some things before I could talk myself out of it and told her what I had to bring.
There were two specific items that gave me a hard time, and I am VERY ashamed to admit: washcloths and my dresser. I know you're judging me, and you SHOULD...how ridiculous...I didn't want to give up 4 washcloths and my dresser (that sits in our extra bedroom holding stuff). My heart is still black and I am very selfish, but I'm working on it.
The washcloths were new, we received them for a wedding gift. They were an expensive brand and white; which is why we never used them. I was too fearful of ruining them or staining them so they lived, folded up nicely on the first shelf in our linen closest. If I'm too afraid to use them, why keep them? I feel so awful but my first thought was to give away some of the good washcloths we had but used and keep the good ones for myself and start using them. I quickly realized how terrible and nasty that was so I quickly put them in the stack of things to give away.
The dresser. My dresser. It wasn't particularly anything special, but it was the one and only piece of furniture I had EVER been able to pick out for myself, prior to getting married. I always had a nice bed and dressers, but they were hand-me-downs. In high school, my mom took me to a local furniture store and I found "my dresser". And I truly loved it! It currently lived in our extra bedroom, holding my yarn and crocheting projects and some seasonal decorating items. Again, I quickly offered it up before I could think about it too much and realize what an unhealthy, nasty, attachment I had to a piece of wood that we didn't actually USE or VALUE anymore.
The point? I'm still a work in progress. I don't know if I will ever truly have the right kind of relationship with my things but I am working toward it. I want a giving heart and I obviously have LOTS of room for growth. I can tell you this, two weeks later, other than the two above items mentioned, I don't even remember what else I gave her. I also don't miss the washcloths that sat in our linen closet for five years and because I needed to empty out the dresser, I got rid of more baggage.