You’re a third-grade child and you decide that you’re going to save your “special”, “important” papers in a plain folder. You write your name on it and start carrying that folder around with you wherever you go. One day you’re walking down the street and a couple of pages blow out of The Folder. You run after them, but the wind lifts them up and they swirl through the sky. You keep running but, eventually, realize you just won’t be able to catch them.
You go to a family reunion and The Folder is with you. You decide that you can share some of what’s in there and, possibly, get answers to decades-old questions to better understand part of your “story”. You pull out your lists and start asking those questions, but no one wants to have that conversation—it’s in the past and they don’t think the past has value. You put those yellowed papers back and decide that they’ll never get pulled out again, and they aren’t.
You sit in your office and take a few papers out of The Folder thinking that you can accomplish what’s on those pages before you leave for the day. It’s overwhelming, and you do make a small dent in the work, but it’s getting dark and you have to head home. Those pages get stuck in the back, behind everything else. You may get to them another day, but you decide that if you don’t, that’s okay. At least you acknowledged them. At least you tried.
You’re a new parent and you add photos and hospital memoirs—of this little human that you will have the privilege of guiding through life—to The Folder. Those pieces sit right on top of everything else for a long time. They’re really important and you want to make sure that you can reach them at a moment’s notice. Eventually, other things will compete with those pages. Eventually, that special being will grow up. But, you don’t think about that now.
You’re struggling with life and decide to “sit with God for a while”. You open The Folder and pull out letters from those who came before you—writings that told you to be “good”, to honor your family, to make time for God, to be your best self. You try to find the notes you wrote in desperation—pleading for help or guidance or another chance to do things “better”. But, the phone won’t stop ringing, and you slip back into the “things of this world”.
You get together with old friends to have a beer and catch up. You’ve missed them and long for the “simplicity of the past”. In The Folder, you’ve been carrying old love notes, college acceptance letters, important award certificates and crumpled, old concert tickets. You want to go back to those “glory days”, but no one else wants to play along. They’ve all moved past the past. You realize you don’t have anything to share with them anymore.
You lie in bed a hospital. The Folder is in the little “patient closet” with the rest of your carefully cataloged possessions. You ask the aide to bring it to you. You open it and see your life in those pages. Your folder is pretty messy; not as orderly as it used to be. Some of the pages stick up haphazardly; some are yellowed by time; some are crisp and white because you just included them. There’s still so much more to add to what’s already there.
You open The Folder and pull out the pages that capture time with your grandchildren. Pictures with smiling faces are mixed the with grandparent cards. You go through them slowly. Those pages have given you a new chance to help raise up another life; to love shamelessly; to embrace fully; to sit on a swing; to feed the animals at the zoo; to remember the innocence and joy; to be important and necessary. You cry. Those tears are filled with love.
You sit quietly and hold The Folder that’s tattered and messy. It’s been to your childhood and you’re coming-of-age years. It’s been with you through love and heartbreak, through success and failure. It’s lifted you up when you’ve crashed to the floor and it’s reminded you of what you wanted to “accomplish” but ran out of time for. It’s been to faraway lands with you and it’s been with you in the muck and mire of day-to-day life.
You sit in the dark, alone, afraid, not sure what you’re supposed to do next, so you do what seems logical. You open The Folder and take out one page at a time. You look at it and honor it. You remind yourself that your journey will never be over. You touch each page with love, even if it is there because you didn’t love yourself at that time. You make peace with the pages. You make peace with each page. You make peace with every page.
Making peace with every page may be very easy. Making peace with every page may be the hardest thing you ever do. Making peace with every page may bring your to your knees.
You and The Folder are life. You and The Folder are all your experiences and memories. You and The Folder are perfect…..just the way you are.
©peace full home®/intentional living