It used to be difficult for me to let go of things that I no longer loved or used. I would hold onto ragged clothes for the memories they held or onto gifts to honor the giver. It took me a long time to realize that the memories weren’t imbued into the clothes they were in my mind. As for the gifts, being grateful to the giver doesn’t require holding onto the item for life.
When I let go, I create room in my life for something new. And it doesn’t always have to be an even swap, like letting go of a handbag and buying a new one. Sometimes, the new thing can be less tangible. A new friendship. A new experience. A new idea.
And it’s not just things that we need to declutter. My mind was a mess in my long-term job – stressed out, miserable, angry. The day I walked out the door (without a new job lined up), I felt as if a boulder had been removed from my shoulders.
Letting go of stuff may not be quite so dramatic, but I do get a little thrill when I open up my neat and tidy closet or when I can find what I need in my cabinet. Full disclosure, the stuff hasn’t quite made it out the door yet, but that’s because I’m not quite done. When I am, I will load up my car and head to my hospital’s thrift shop and a few other charity bins to donate them. Once they’re gone, I know I won’t miss them and, if I do, the item will find it’s way back to me in some form.
And in the process of letting go, I’ve received a few unexpected gifts. First, I found a stack of old journals that held bits and pieces of my stories, plus notes and scenes from a few that were abandoned. Those notebooks are precious, and I’ll read through them to see if there are any nuggets worth resurrecting. Then, last night, after cleaning out my closet (in record time), I flopped down on the couch with a cup of herbal tea and had received an immediate light bulb moment – the title of my current work-in-progress and the title of my next planned book.
All because clearing the clutter in my space also cleared the clutter in my head.
I’ve got a few more areas to work on, including my bookshelves. (Those are always the most difficult for me!) I’m hoping for a few more unexpected gifts and a lot more mental clarity and creativity.
Letting go doesn’t have to be painful or difficult. Appreciate the items for what they’ve provided and send them off to find new homes. Make room in your life for something new (and better)!
And let it go!
(Admit it, you belted that last line, didn't you?)