Sunday, November 23, 2014


It was just a year ago that I was packing up my life of 21 years, from an apartment I had loved (and still sometimes miss). Some of that life survived, some of it was sold, and some of it was given away - LOTS was given away.

I am still going through things, by the grace of friends, and evaluating what I really need to keep and what is precious.  As my friend Christina, who has been so great in helping me work through this asks me regularly when we are sorting, "Do you Love this?"

It was, and continues to be, an amazing process.  One in which, now that I am no longer surrounded by the bulk of my own possessions, really allows me to focus on what is important to me.  It is not as much as I thought!

What I always will remember about that emotional, gut-wrenching, physically painful move was the amazing possession of wonderful friends.  Some of whom went incredibly out of their way to help me.  That's something you can't pack in a box and categorize with a Sharpie label.

In memory of that moment of grace-filled friendship, I share this poem written a month or so after the move was complete.

Truly Humbled
By Judith Cullen  
(c) 2014

Everyone should experience,
Being truly humbled.
Stripping away the layers:
Stuff, status, trappings
Which surround and contain
All that is within.

An onion is easier to peel away
Tears flow just as genuine,
Doubts arise just as often
“Am I losing too much?
What happens to ‘me’
When all this is gone?”

The process is painful, shedding
As layer after layer disappears
By chance, by necessity
“I can’t lose much more”
Gasping to realize suddenly
you actually can.

When finally no more of your life
Truly can be repelled.
When you feel barren
Diminished, despairing.
What is left to decide?
What is left dispense?

In this key moment of clarity
Choose your course carefully.
You cannot masquerade
Behind what you have
Who you know
False perceptions of status.

Only the essential you remains.
What will you make of it?
This cordial collection
of galactic star stuff
Hanging together by
Familiarity or convenience.
Sense yourself as found, not lost
Embrace the simplicity
Of just being you
Without things to burden you
Status to mask you
Baggage in your way

Recognize that which was hiding,
That in losing almost all
You have discovered
There is so much more
Than what you have
Or who you seem.

Everyone should have the experience,
Of being truly humbled.
The liberation of soaring
Free of weight and bulk
Ego and possessions shed

The free flight of you.

Note:  Truly Humbled will be published in my upcoming collection of Essays and Poems - Coffee Shop Talk.  Look for it on Amazon for Kindle and in Paperback.

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