Thursday, April 5, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Good Home, Emotions and Ritual

In just a little over a week, I am moving out of the home that I have been in for the last year and a half.  While this doesn’t seem like a long period of time, it is the first time that I have stayed in one place this long in the past 8 years.  A year and a half of relative happiness and contentment is extremely unusual for me.  To be truthful, I don’t want to leave.  And the fact that I am temporarily moving back in with my parents doesn’t help.

Long story short, my parents are charging me half the rent I pay now to live with them until the wedding.  They also happen to be 20 minutes from my work instead of the 40 minutes it takes me to get to work from the condo.  My fiancé lives 1 hour and 30 minutes from where I work.  So cutting down my commute time and rent expenses means more money for the wedding and more time for school.  And yet… my room in the condo was mine.  Wonderfully mine.  

While I have been slowly packing things up and moving boxes in short trips to both my parent’s and fiancé’s homes, I’ve still felt a strong pull and ownership.  As my condo mate brought in new people to see the place, I felt a creeping jealousy towards my potential replacements. 

But last night I started taking things off the walls and pulling down my curtains.  Painful as it was, seeing the room bare helped me to let go.  So tonight, I’m going to do a little ritual to help ease the lingering emotions.  It’s pretty much a more formal version of a tradition I’ve always done when leaving a place I’ve lived, which is to simply softly say “Goodbye” to the empty place just before I close the door the final time.  I’ve included it below.

Letting Go of a Good Home Ritual
You can do this with the lights on or off depending on the time of day and with or without a candle.  I prefer off and with a candle just because I think the candle light provides a feeling of warmth and life.

Light a candle (I’m going to use a white tea light because that’s all I have at the moment) and holding it, walk it around the room or area you are preparing to leave. You may want to touch the walls, doorways, etc., to make a stronger emotional connection, but it’s entirely optional.

As you are walking say,
“Thank you to this space for the shelter you’ve provided me. 
Thank you for the comfort and warmth you’ve brought. 
Thank you for being my refuge and home.
As I prepare to leave you, I take my presence with me
To let you be filled by the energy of your next dweller.”

Then blow out the candle as a symbol of cleansing the space of your presence as well as cleansing yourself of your connection to the space.

Of course, the above can be changed and modified to fit anyone’s situation.  I just find that symbolic gestures like this get me into the right headspace to be looking forward and not back.


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