Patting the Tail

So we all hold on to things that have meaning to us – old letters, pressed flowers, mugs, books, etc. We call them mementos and we cherish them, even as we shove them in a box and set them way back in the closet.  

However, sometimes, for some people, what starts as one box easily becomes two, three, four boxes.  Suddenly the whole house is the closet, with the box lids off and “mementos” filling up every nook and cranny of their homes.  Finding the carpet, for some, is a thing of the past.  These are extreme cases of hoarding and you may be thinking, “Hey that’s not me.  I just have things around that I don’t (see can’t) get rid of.”

If that’s true, keep reading.  I have a story to tell (and it’s true, so you know it’ll be a good one).

There was a family who had a beloved cat.  The cat got sick and died and they wanted to have a memorial for the kitty.  Mom and Dad wanted to bury it in the backyard, and they did, with one exception.  Their young daughter could not bear to part with Kitty, so she requested that when they bury it, they keep the top part of the tail up out of the ground.  Why, they asked (just as you are asking yourself).  She said she wanted to be able to still visit Kitty and be able to touch her. They complied with the request.  

And so the young girl, unable to let Kitty go, would often find herself out in the backyard, patting the tail, never really letting go, never really moving on.  Just continuing to pat the tail.

This is an extreme, and somewhat creepy, story to illustrate a point.  There are things we can legitimately keep around, like our old yearbook.  Then there are things we simply need to surrender in an effort to move on, and make space in our homes and lives for other important things.

So… do you find yourself too often in your own backyard, patting the tail?  And if so, is it maybe time to bury it for good?

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