"We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of... God´s compassionate love for others. " ~ St. Clare of Assisi
I saved this quotation several months ago...maybe even a year or more ago. I figured at the time that I would use it as inspiration to write about my chosen career, which I view as a true calling, something that comes from a personal passion, and something that somewhat defined me. Now, for the first time in almost 5 years, I am not working, and this quotation means something completely different to me.
Earlier this week, I watched as a blur of humanity packed and loaded nearly all of my Earthly belongings into a moving truck. I watched as Mitchell signed the papers which somehow were meant to assure us that we would be getting everything back one week and 1,500 miles later. Had this been my first such experience, I might have been more worried, but I actually felt lighter. I care very much about the things that I have collected through my lifetime, and many have a story and a heart of their own, yet they were no longer on my mind after that moving truck pulled away from the house. Two hours down the road, the only things on my mind were the beings inside my car and those inside Mitchell's car.
I have fretted for more than a year over the sale of our house and the financial loss that would accompany it. I have spent time, energy, and money to do anything humanly possible to sell the house, all the while not really sure what I would encounter on the next steps of my journey. I have cleaned, planned, dreamed, hoped, and (yes) even prayed. I now realize that I was preoccupied with details, minutiae, items of little import. None of it really matters in the end, does it? As it's been said, "You can't take it with you."
Our house was officially purchased yesterday, leaving us technically homeless. Again, I felt lighter and less burdened. Yes, I will be closing on another house in two days, and I am excited about that, but this time between houses helps me to appreciate what really matters to me. When all else goes away....the money, the things, the houses, the cars, the job, the professional identity....what really matters is that you still have those that you love. They are truly the only things that cannot be replaced. And, love is the only priceless possession you will ever own.
The next several weeks (and probably months) will be consumed with the unpacking and arranging of things. I will be focused on creating a new life in a new place--finding a job, applying to schools, figuring out where and how to get the busywork of life accomplished, with a new bank, grocery store, post office, pet store, veterinarian, gas station, etc. It will become easy to lose myself in all that needs to be done, easy to forget what really matters, easy to once again succumb to worry. I hope that in my quite moments I will take the time to remember what matters, to be grateful for the love that surrounds me, and to enjoy the too-little time we are allotted to travel through this existence.
I hope that I will not lose sight of who I am, of what shapes me, and of what feeds my soul.