Through the process of packing and unpacking all my things during my recent move home, I was surprised by how much stuff I have and how I haven't used a lot of it in a long time. It got me thinking about the way that we hold onto loads and loads of stuff, and why?
Today I’m reflecting on how we hold onto a lot of stuff we don’t really need or use, and what we can do with this stuff to improve our lives.
Why do we keep the things we keep?
Stepping back and looking into that second reason can really help us to create emotional space for bigger and better life experiences.
When you do hoard things you don’t really need or use anymore, it may be because they symbolise a person, place or experience that you’re also unwilling or not yet ready to let go of on an emotional level.
The material things that we hold onto are often connected to memories from our childhood or previous relationships. There can be a lot of pain in those memories and then those objects hold that pain too. Holding onto all of that stuff is actually a way of holding onto some of that pain.
Letting Go Creates Space
As Aristotle taught, nature hates empty space so it always looks to fill it with something. This means that when we release one thing, it creates empty space to be filled with something else. I'm not talking about just going out and buying new things to physically fill the space. I mean creating real expansion in your life to bring in the things that you want in the form of better life experiences.
You can actually take control of this idea and use it to your advantage by creating empty space by letting go of some of your older things. This, in turn, will open the opportunity for more expansion in your life because you can fill it with bigger and better life experiences.
The easiest way to do this is to sort of trick yourself into doing it.
Without getting into all the heavy emotional stuff of what the objects may mean for you emotionally, you can test out your feelings of letting go by just getting rid of some of your material things. Test out this idea on a lighter, superficial level, and then see how that translates into your own life.
Tip: Generally, one year is a good benchmark. If you've not touched something in over a year then it's probably a good sign to let go of that item.
Releasing and Forgiving
Forgiveness is really important because to really let go of a lot of that old, heavy, negative baggage, you've got to release those feelings and be able to forgive others and in a lot of cases, yourself. Being able to recognise that you might have intense emotions that require forgiveness can be a great form of healing as well.
Pay It Forward
Sometimes we don’t want to get rid of things, even if we don’t use them anymore, because they're in great condition. In this case, pay it forward. Many local communities have 'Pay It Forward' groups where you can post things to give away to other people.
It's amazing how you can really touch somebody's life with this! When my sister used our local PIF group to give away a dryer, the guy who picked it up thanked her so much, explaining how his family of five has never been able to afford one, and how it would make a big difference in their lives.
Pay It Forward is an excellent way to give yourself the gift of letting go, while also giving someone else the gift of having something they will use and appreciate.
Resist the Urge
Once you start creating space through letting go, resist the urge to fill it back up with stuff again. Just practice creating that expansion, creating the space and letting it, over time, get filled with things that you truly want.
To your success,
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