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Brave Enough to Let Go

Louise Hay encourages us to “make room for the new” by clearing out our refrigerators of everything that’s clearly past being (safely) edible. When you’ve created the space, more will come, but you need to let go first.

Louise also says a cluttered closet is the sign of a cluttered mind. Organize your physical surroundings and you’ll be able to think more clearly. There’s definitely an element of trust when you’re culling that over-stuffed closet – if you got rid of everything that no longer fit or fell out of fashion, what would you have left to wear? Letting go allows you to trust more will come.

Marie Kondo says the same thing from a different angle: she wants you to keep only what sparks joy. Whether that’s a kitchen utensil or a cashmere sweater, if it’s any less than joyful to have it in your life, let it go. Her method is to take everything (everything!) out of the closet, pile it all in the middle of the room and allow back into the closet only those clothes that spark joy. My abbreviated version of that is when I get dressed, if what I put on makes me feel anything less than great, I immediately take it off and put it in the pile to give away. At this rate, it could take years, but it’s a satisfying process.

What about the relationships in your life? It was an anonymous poet who wrote that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Each type of relationship has a specific purpose. The purpose is not always obvious and when the time is up, it’s still hard to let go. I once met a woman name Dee in the lobby of a seminar we were both attending. We clicked at lunch and I called her a week later just to chat. The chats continued. Our relationship felt like we had known each other for decades, instead of only a few years. And then she died. It wasn’t all that sudden, but Dee was clearly in my life for a season. I think about that poem and still can’t make sense of the loss.

I’d prefer my relationships be the lifetime kind, but that’s not always possible either. Sometimes you have to brave enough to let go. Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull is widely believed to have said: “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it is yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it never was yours at all.”

(In truth the quote belongs to a high school student in one of Jess Lair’s classes in 1969. The original quote is “If you want something very, very badly, let it go free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with.”)

What (or who) are you having a hard time letting go of? I’d love to know below.

10 Comments

  • Lou Ann Pecorelli September 26, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I’ve been hanging onto my husbands clothes since he passed away, not all of them but certain items. It’s like seeing them hang there keeps him close even though he’s gone and they’ll never be worn again. They are taking up space in my closet, but I do have clothes of my own that I keep also. They fit but the style has changed and I keep thinking the style will possibly come back or I can remodel them!! I like the idea if I don’t feel joyful in the item, to let it go. I will try these clothes on again and see how many I can let go. I’m thinking it’s the fear of not having them replaced. An accounting major once told he what he learned. OHIO, Only handle it once!! Going to try this with my long hanging taking up space clothes!!

    Reply

    • Mair Hill September 26, 2017 at 7:36 am

      My younger brother was an amazing baseball player. He died when he was 13 (and I was 14 – so a long, long time ago). I still have his baseball glove. I kept it in full view until about a year ago when I was able to really let go and allow it to be enough knowing he continues to live in my heart.

      Reply

  • dawn vanamberg September 26, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Wow, timely message, for what we hold onto too tight is an idol. I’ve got to let go of my children and their adult decisions even if they don’t look wise!
    Thanks Mair for the reminder and this blog.

    Reply

  • Tami Martineau September 26, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I am in the process of letting go of all personal items that do not bring me joy. I watched a Netflix video called Minimalism on Netflix, at the insistence of a friend, and it changed something in me.

    When I told my husband I wanted to be a minimalist, he laughed. You should see me house and you would probably laugh too. Instead of getting mad, which was my initial feeling, I realized he was right. I then determined that I am a minimalist in my heart and a hoarder in my brain. Having my husband out of work for 6 years made me hold on to everything out of fear but I really have a deep desire to be organized and free…that is what my spirit wants. So, I clearly needed to make some changes and I am.

    Now, I realize I can live on less and those things don’t bring me peace or security. The more I let go of the happier I am.

    It is such a freeing thing!! Thanks, Mair, for your inspiring words. You are awesome.

    Reply

    • Mair Hill September 26, 2017 at 11:47 am

      You go girl! I have lots of stuff too. Unfortunately one of my boys takes after me. But now that he’s on his own, (and on a tight budget) he admitted he can live just fine with only a subway card. He no longer needs all the STUFF.

      Reply

  • Monica September 26, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    I have steadily been letting go of stuff the last 10 years! For me it is a continuous exercise . However now I never hesitate to have people step in the door , I love this.
    Welcome World!

    Reply

  • Mair Hill September 26, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I once read a suggestion to get rid of five things every day. I did that for a while. It was usually a quick exercise.

    Reply

  • Jeanette McCauley September 26, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    I have issues with letting go of being in my comfort zone. I have to focus on letting go of that.

    Reply

    • Mair Hill September 26, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Wow, that’s very insightful! What’s the last thing you said no to because it would have taken you out of your comfort zone? What’s one thing that you can do now that you’d like to do, but again, it will force you to streeettttccchhhhh?

      Reply

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