Bye Bye Albatross
“Instead of the cross, the Albatross, About my neck was hung” Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Have you every had a burden upon you that spanned more than a decade? After such a long time you wonder if you will ever be free from it. It becomes difficult to imagine life without it lurking there in the back corner of your mind.
I owned an apartment house for nearly 14 years. At first it was our primary residence and wasn’t much of a burden at all, but after about 5 years we moved out and kept the building as a second source of income. Over time the neighborhood began to decline and it became difficult to find reliable tenants. The value of the property was sinking and several attempts to sell it were unsuccessful. It became a huge burden to maintain. I had so many moments of frustration, and moments when I was downright furious. I can’t explain to you how trapped I felt. I began to wonder if I would ever be free from it.
Well, today we closed on the sale of that house. I can hardly believe it. We took significantly less than what we paid for it all those years ago, but it is gone and I am free…
… and now I can see it. I can see how I am different… different having endured and different now that it is gone. I really don’t like to admit this, but there was divine purpose in the whole experience. Something was accomplished in me and in the world through that difficulty. I don’t know exactly what, but something important and it is now a part of me. The memory of the difficulty is already fading.
I share this for those of you who have your own albatross around your neck. You can’t see it now, you probably don’t want to hear it, but there is purpose in these difficulties. This is what it feels like to be changed forever. Think about when a baby is born. Its when the pain and discomfort are at their peak that you know you are close… and you will be different… and the pain will quickly be forgotten.