How do you let go of what no longer serves you? I see a lot about this subject especially in the ongoing Marie Kondo frenzy. Letting go is so much more than cleaning house, or downsizing, or de-cluttering. It is an act of knowing yourself well enough to have the courage to believe there is something richer on the horizon.
I can pack things up and take them to charity, but if the essence of those things still weigh me down, then all I have accomplished is making space in my closet or my cabinets. Letting go requires a little soul-searching and a lot of opening our hearts and minds to what lies ahead.
I am a sentimentalist. I cling to tactile things that hold memories for me. The thing is, I am also guilty of holding onto things that trigger unpleasant memories just because it was a gift. This year when packing up my Christmas decorations, I finally let go of a music box I have held onto for 15 years. It was a gift from a very close friend who one day just decided the friendship was over. Every time I saw it, it brought back those bad memories rather than the joy of the initial gift. So, I packed it up and took it to a favorite charity thrift shop. I am hopeful someone will stumble upon it in the thrift store and it will again regain its joyful energy.
I am confident and content in who I am. Confidence is a blessing and the result of many long years of feeling unworthy. I quit wearing makeup 10 years ago after a lifetime of feeling like I looked terrible without it. (My mother warned me that would happen, but I didn’t listen of course.) So one might ask, why did I still have makeup in my bathroom drawer? If I look closely, maybe it’s because there might be an occasion when I would need it. Need it?
Learning to listen to our internal dialogue serves us well. Yesterday I threw it all out with the exception of a tube of lipstick that I love and an eyebrow pencil. No more reminders of the woman who felt she didn’t measure up unless she was ‘made up’. I kept two things I love because I love them. Nothing else sparked joy for sure!
I have also let go of other’s expectations and in many ways, my own expectations of who and what I should be in this phase of my life. I am excited to let the days unfold and I find myself enjoying every little morsel. Yesterday I noticed the camellias were blooming outside the guest room window. It is not unusual for this time of year when we have a sudden warming trend. I love seeing them knowing it won’t be long before the squirrels find the blooms and devour them.