How’s your summer been going? I hope you’ve taken some time to relax and have fun! I spent part of my summer vacation in Key West, Florida with my husband. We went on one of the ghost tours the haunted city is famous for. I’m a fan of ghost tours when I travel because I enjoy hearing the stories that make a city rich in history.
One story that stuck with me was ‘Robert the doll’. It was about the strange relationship Gene Otto had with a doll that was crafted in his image and given to him when he was 4. He was attached to the doll his entire life – even constructing a room for it in the house he shared with his wife Anne. She wanted him to get rid of it, but that never happened.
Many people believe the doll (dating back to the early 1900s) was (and still is) possessed. It is displayed in a glass case at the local museum and there are still bizarre circumstances surrounding it. In the book Ghosts of Key West, David L. Sloan says “Robert (the doll) will always serve as a reminder to beware of objects you possess, or one day they may end up possessing you”.
Although I’m not worried that any of us have objects that are possessed, I do believe objects can possess us – but not necessarily in the way you may think.
The more you own, the more owns you.
Each and every item you bring into your home takes up valuable space. It costs you in real estate (which you heat, cool, clean and pay a mortgage and taxes on). You also need to care for it – repair it when it breaks, and clean it when it gets dirty. If space is limited, you need to find a creative way to store it, so you need to buy bins, put up shelves, or even rent off-site storage space. Then you may worry about it, especially if it’s valuable. What if it gets damaged or stolen? Perhaps you need to insure it.
You may decide that the item is worth all this time, energy, money and even stress, because you cherish it and it brings you joy. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Or you may decide it’s not worth it, so you let it go. And in letting it go, you experience sweet relief, because you didn’t realize how tense it was making you until it was gone. Suddenly, you feel lighter because the weight you’ve been carrying for years is finally gone.
Look around your home. Check out what’s lurking in the recesses of your attic and the dark corners of your basement. Perhaps now is as good a time as any to deal with the ghosts of your past so they can no longer haunt your future.