Thursday, March 26, 2009

Letting Go


I am moving. I am also moving on.

Deciding what to take with me, and what to leave behind or give away was feeling like an enormous burden until I read a column called Clearing a Space for Change in the on-line OM column I subscribe to. (Register here for free OM newsletter.)

In this particular column I was reminded that it’s easy to... "convince ourselves that unused possessions might come in handy someday or that parting with them will cause us emotional pain." So true. I have souvenirs from long-ago holidays that are simply collecting dust, and clothes that I keep 'in case' I lose 10 lbs, and the drawers in my desk and kitchen are overflowing with trinkets that I simply haven't been able to part with. Each one of these objects has a special memory attached to it, and until now, I felt unable to let them go.

But the OM goes on to say that ... "when your personal space is filled with objects, there is no room for anything new to enter and stay in your life. Your collection of belongings may “protect” you from the uncertainties of an unknown future while keeping you stuck in the past. Holding on to unnecessary possessions often goes hand in hand with holding on to pain, anger, and resentment, and letting go of your material possessions may help you release emotional baggage. When you make a conscious decision to fill your personal space with only the objects that you need or bring you joy, your energy level will soar. Clearing your personal space can lead to mental clarity and an improved memory. As you learn to have a more practical and temporary relationship to objects, positive changes will happen, and you’ll have space to create the life that you desire."

Okay, it won't be easy, but as I pack up the belonging that I truly need and are still useful to me, I will try my hardest to leave behind those possessions that no longer serve a purpose in my life. After all, who doesn't need improved mental clarity and improved memory?

Back to packing...


photo credit: www.janicemarinerward.com/

26 comments:

Sand Dollar Scholar said...

Gosh, what wonderful comments. I've gone through some overseas moves where I could only send belongings, no furniture, and then, a week after I arrived from overseas once, my parent's house burned down with all of the things I brought with me except what I wore that day. I still miss some of those special things like the jade ring given to me by my parents, and the tapa prints from the South Pacific I hand carried.

Now that I've been in a house with storage for many years I've been starting to reduce ever so slightly be selling books and little things that I no longer need.

There's always the person, though, who saves those things forever and remembers where they are just when the opportunity to use them comes up. That would not be me.

Good luck - it's tough to let go of things. I kind of like the idea of boxing up stuff for a few years until you don't have a need to see it anymore and then you can let it go.

But we never know what will have meaning later in life, either. I'm sorry for some things I've sold or given away that would have meant a lot in hindsight.

It's also nice to let go and find that we never really did wear those clothes anymore; so now we can buy a few new things.

Best,
Helen

Leslie said...

I truly enjoyed reading this post, Shelley. Thanks so much for sharing. Everything you said really made sense to me. You have a very wise head and a big heart.

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