When my last relationship ended, I was left with not only a huge house load of painful memories, but some of his 'unwanted' pieces of personal belongings. One of these was a hot-pink dresser that was in very ill-repair that had belonged to his young daughter. We had rescued it from going to the dump with the intention of re-doing it for her again. That never happened, and it ended up being a big pink reminder of a life that never transpired.
The dresser became my Kryptonite: even looking at it brought me to tears, but I really liked the 'shape' of the dresser. My initial thought was to finish the dresser and to deliver it to his ex with the intention of giving it back to his daughter..
What I decided to do instead was to embrace the painful memories and work through them while I worked on the dresser, refinishing it to be a TV stand and storage for my artwork and craft supplies. At first I was uncomfortable as I ruminated about my lost relationship while I began the stripping and sanding process.. what I found though, was that I was able to understand these feelings from an objective point of view as the physical attention to the task at hand was actually keeping me grounded. It was very cathartic and from the release of emotions that came simply from a deeper understanding of not only our 'relationship', but the role we each played, and the emotions that were present, I was able to lift the veil to reveal what lay underneath; exposed slowly along with what the layers of stripped paint were revealing.
Ironically, what I discovered was that what was underneath was not of great value.. this goes for both the dresser and my relationship.. both were built on a cheap foundation and covered up with superficial facades.
I've been taking my time with this old dresser. It is not solid wood and has layers of veneer that are in rough shape. I know that if I patch it properly with some good products that come from a solid understanding of repair, I can still create a piece that not only looks good esthetically, but will be functional as well.. it will serve a purpose.
My relationship is now understood the same way. With this process, I was able to peel away the layers of deception to expose what really lay underneath, and it wasn't easy to look at. This took some courage to admit to what was my stuff and what was his. It meant being authentic and standing in my truth, understanding that which I had no control over, and letting the universe deal with that energy naturally on its own. It meant I had to take a back seat to the human experience and go deeper in my understanding, and find the appreciation that existed there. And I found it.
This old, cheaply made dresser has a style of its own. It may not be perfect or of high quality, but it is functional and does what its supposed to do... act as a vessel of storage for expressions of my emotions.
Here's to making new memories and up-cycling the old painful ones.
~ Love and light
Registered Psychiatric Nurse, Supportive Energy Therapy Practitioner, Yoga Instructor, Chartered Herbalist, AcuDetox Specialist, Personal Trainer, Entrepreneur, mom of three..
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