It is truly amazing how little “stuff” we actually need in our lives until we have little or next to nothing. During the disaster of the 2013 High River Flood, my family and I escaped with the clothes on our backs. My kids were greatly concerned about Pinkie, Lucy and their blankets. I assured them that Pinkie, Lucy and their blankets were up stairs and would be fine.
I was grateful for the fact our main floor was unscathed. It meant our bedrooms and main living space were okay. For the weeks while we were out of our house, we had to rely on clothing donations from friends and family. It was humbling to ask for help. It was humbling to literally live out of plastic bags for a short time. You learn to appreciate simple things such as underwear, toothbrushes, and even a suitcase.
Even once we obtained access to our home again, we were not immediately allowed to live there. We gathered up many of our clothes to wash them and have some familiar outfits. I then realized how much clothing our family had amassed. Even once I got my own clothes back, over the last few days I realized how little I actually wear. Our office has been allowing us to dress casually. I came to the realization that we truly only need a few shirts, pants, and some underwear and socks. It is possible to live without the gigantic walk-in closets stuffed to the brim. Our kids truly only wear a few outfits as well. If they were allowed, they would probably live in their one or 2 favorite dresses or shirts.
Overall, this flood has been a cleansing moment, purging us of our unneeded goods. It has allowed is to re-evaluate what is most important to this flood. Is it truly about the stuff, or can we be strong and move beyond the physical into the spiritual healing?