Every Tuesday is trash night in my neighborhood. We gather our trash and recycling and sit them on the curb. The next morning the garbage company comes to take our garbage away. If only it could be that simple in life.
People often say to let go of the past and move into the future. When you have a disability, you take the baggage of your past. Some of the trash is disappointments of things that you tried and failed. Other types of baggage include the rejections of others. I can remember thinking if I could just get rid of my disability my life would be perfect. How I wanted to throw out my disability and all the difficulties it brought.
I wasn’t able to bag my disability and throw it into a landfill. I had to sort what was going to be beneficial to take with me and what was better to leave behind. I also had to make peace with the parts I would take into my future.
The beauty is I got to create the space that I wanted to create. I still had my disability and the issues it created. I had to learn how to develop ways to work with my disability, not against it.
The space I chose was a garden filled with colorful flowers. Tending the garden means pulling up the annoying weeds that pop up. I also have to nourish my plants with food, water, sunshine, and tenderness. I wouldn’t want to bring the smelly garbage and trash into my garden. However I have found ways to use the trash to help my garden grow. Much of the junk from the past has turned into compost. Flowers need to have soil to help them grow. I have seen that my experiences have not all been a waste. I can use them to learn from my mistakes and have the empathy to be able to help others in similar situations.
I didn’t choose all of the garbage from my past and some of it may stay with me. I can’t erase the memories, but I can chose what I do with it. I can ensure that I won’t let it trash the beauty of my present and future garden.