Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart. Thomas FullerI asked my eldest daughter Alexis to give me a topic to write about this morning. "Leftovers," she immediately replied. "You know, those things we carry from our childhood into adult."
"Why leftovers?" I asked.
"I was reading about them last night. They're," she paused. "...interesting."
Sometimes, in my fridge, there are some very interesting leftovers that are not conducive to a healthy mind and heart. Particularly, those left to fend for themselves in the back of the second shelf, hidden behind the pickles and relishes. Far from view. Long forgotten, they become a science project waiting to sprout wings and fly themselves out of there at the first chance of release. Problem is, their flying power is confined to the putrid mess covering up up the evidence of their long expired, 'best before' date.
Like unexorcised memories from childhood that cramp my style as an adult, limiting my ability to fly free. Toxins of the mind contained in the petri dish of my forgotten past left to rot somewhere on the back shelf of my imaginings.
I came up against one of those containers this morning during my meditation. As I drifted down into quietness, I felt tears welling up behind my eyelids. "What are these tears telling me?" I asked, embracing them in a warm loving hug.
"There's Sadness. Sorrow. Fear." my mind replied.
"And what is beneath the sadness and fear?" I asked myself, imagining the sadness rising, like a veil of mist in the morning sunlight. Beneath it, a sea of fear of letting go. Fear of being free.
And underneath the fear?
In my quiet state my mind quickly answered.
The trigger point is perfection. The belief that I must be perfect, never show weakness, never be vulnerable, never let the outer world see the inner turmoil of my unease.
One of my favourite authors and philosophers, Joseph Campbell wrote, "Out of perfection nothing can be made. Every process involves breaking something up."
In the fridge of my childhood mind, the belief that I could never let anyone see my imperfection for fear they would ridicule me, creates a putrid dish of yeast infested limitations.
I breathe. Slowly. Deeply.
These are just leftovers I've forgotten to clean out. Meals that once fed me but were never healthy enough to sustain my growth into adulthood.
The best cure for leftovers is to throw them out. They served their purpose long ago. They gave me sustenance. They may not have been the best food, or the right food for my spirit, but, they had value in sustaining me way back when.
It is time to clean out my fridge, but first, gratitude. Giving thanks for nourishment that fed my spirit long enough to sprout wings. Giving thanks for lessons learned, and never needed again. For lessons learned that give me courage to break-up the messy beliefs from the past.
Time to check under the lid and see what grows inside. Time to ask the tough questions and let my courage draw me into taking a whiff of truth from what lies beneath the lid. How does this 'meal' serve me now? If the answer is, it limits my freedom, my happiness, my joy -- close the lid and toss it.
If the answer is, it creates more of what I want in life, its message continues to lift me up and support my flight, take a bite! Eat more. Eat joyfully and be sustained by the leftover memories that give me wings to fly.
The question is: What's in your fridge? Are you willing to check out what's under the lid of some of those memories lurking beneath the petri dish of your forgotten past?