Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Poor Gus.  Today I gave up on a baby afghan I was crocheting because I was having an allergic reaction to some of the yarn I was using….and I was too “cheap” to throw it away. Then I got the bright idea of “converting” it into a “doggy cape” for Gus. I folded the remnant in half and tied it on him like a cape—-with a cord around his neck and another around his waist—-not too tight, of course. He looked exactly like what he was—-a dog who was unfortunate enough to have to wear an afghan tied to his back. After about a half an hour I took pity on him and removed the “cape” from his back. I should say his torso, because the belted cape kept sliding around his body do that it was more on his side than over his back.

At times in my life I have tried to fix broken relationships just like I did this crochet project gone awry. This resulted in make-over relationships that  were just as ill-fitting and worrisome as Gus’ “afghan-cape.”  My “stinkin’ thinkin'” (one of my favorite AA terms)  has caused me, in the past, to consider any relationship, even a bad one, as better than no relationship at all.  Somehow,  I still have depression-era values taught to me by my father floating around in my head. I have trouble discarding things, even when they are obviously ineffective.

I am no longer trying to make relationships over; however,  I am currently applying  this “don’t throw anything away” mentality to clothes that no longer fit, extra pounds that feel like a comfortable “shield,” old closet hangers; three decades worth of shoes, two drawers full of socks, six book cases full of books,  and tons of unused, miss-matched yarn. Why? I don’t know.

Last night in a book discussion meeting we were discussing how recovery work is a constant process of digging deeper, finding hidden layers within ourselves and discarding what we need to discard. I talked about unearthing positive surprising treasures I don’t want to discard. I felt a little out of place saying this as no one else seemed to identify with what I was saying. However, I felt somewhat validated tonight when I read a comment of Richard Rohr’s about a type of amnesia we all suffer from in which we spend a life time finding out who we already are, a self we barely recognize (Rohr, Richard ,2013-01-03. Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life — A Companion Journal, Kindle Location 492).

Granted, I need to discard a considerable amount of junk. But in this spiritual journey of self discovery, perhaps I need to uncover, recognize, and keep—-rather than discard—–the self I have always been but am just beginning to recognize.

Please comment and share your thoughts about self reflection, self discovery, and self-discernment (deciding what to keep and what to discard) in this spiritual process of discovering who we are. May God bless and keep you.