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Friday, June 3, 2011

Holding On or Letting Go?

I have a tendency to be a pack rat; that is, I hold on to things.

For a long time. 

Sometimes, longer than is necessary or healthy.

Obviously, I recognize this or else I wouldn't be talking about it and have been aware of my "borderline hoarder" personality for some time.  It's a process, trying to keep it in check.  Thank God for cabinets/closets with ample room for storage.  It allows me to hide all of the miscellanous items that may or may not be useful anymore.

For example, when we moved into our house in September 1996, my husband mentioned the fact, on his third or fourth trip from the apartment to the moving truck, that I had a lot of clothes and wanted to know why the @#$% I still had my prom dress, since I had graduated high school over six years ago.

Stuff like that.  And, by the way, thanks for the reminder, honey, that I'm much closer to 40 than 18.

Don't get me wrong, here.  There isn't anything wrong with nostalgia, necessarily.  I've mentioned more than once that I'm a total retro girl who LOVES classic television.  Give me an episode of "All in the Family" and I will laugh myself silly.  Sometimes, mementoes can transport us to a happy place in time that will raise our current vibration and lift our mood.  On the other hand, it can also keep us stuck.  Back "in the day", I dated a young man off and on from my early/mid teens until my early 20's.  In retrospect, I think the relationship was over long before it actually ended, but we just hung around anyway.  At the time, taking the path of least resistance just seemed to be the easier thing to do.

How often do we do this in our lives?  How much excess "stuff" do we hold on to longer than we should?  Are we afraid of what our world would be like with a little less baggage?  Is the "devil you know better than the devil you don't"?  Do we have "sellers remorse"?  After all, my parents always warned me about burning bridges.  How do you know it's time to let go?

We've all heard of the strategy of the pros and cons list.  Well, I"m not sure I agree with that tactic.  Have you ever had a minor issue that you weren't quite sure how to handle?  So you think about it.  And you think about it some more.  And it gets bigger.  Before you know it, your "minor issue" has become the mother of all crises.  What started off as a teeny, little thing has turned into a problem of epic proportions. 

Overthinking.  We've all done it.  The reason it doesn't work is because you are usually trying to solve your problem from a place of confusion and disconnection, not clarity.

Maybe it's time to try something else.

Ask yourself:  how does this make me FEEL?  How do I respond to this person, place or thing?  Does it/they uplift me or drag me down?  Do I smile or frown?  Are they happy tears or sad ones?  Does it inspire negative or positive emotion within me?

Once you have an answer to those questions, you'll know what to do with whatever it is you're conflicted about.  It'll take a lot less effort too.  Get out of your head space and into your heart space. 

Let's clean up our act a little.  Then, we can make room for NEW stuff.

“Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” – The Wonder Years


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