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.