30 Nov Day 14 Let it Go! (a note about giving)
I love to get rid of things. One of the first things I do when I am feeling stuck or complacent is hit the closets in my house and start purging. There is nothing that will get things moving in my life faster than getting “stuff” out of my house. The Salvation Army drop off center is one of the most joyful places on Earth for me. I leave there feeling 1000 pounds lighter in every sense and I’m grateful that my unneeded/unwanted things will make someone else very happy. It’s a win-win. I’m free of my stuff and my stuff serves a better purpose somewhere else.
There is a bigger piece to this though. You see what I am really doing when I get rid of things is making space in my home and in my life. Space, for new people, opportunities and things that will make life fresh and exciting. If my home and my life are choc full of stuff then there is no room for anything new both literally and figuratively. In fact one of the first homework assignments I give to clients that are looking for a relationship is to make space in their closet and to empty out a couple of their drawers. If you want to add someone to your life there has to be room for them in it.
I noticed in the past few weeks we had accumulated some major clutter. Mostly in the girls’ rooms and in the garage. It’s really important to me that they get in the habit of giving so I had them both go through their rooms and put all of the toys, books and anything else they no longer used in laundry baskets. To my delight they filled up three garbage bags full of stuff! Then we hit the garage where we had old bikes, big wheels and the cozy coupe (you know that red and yellow plastic car?) I knew giving that away would be a tough sell as Amelia in particular loves it but she is too big to really play in it anymore. She came around when I asked her to think about how happy it would make a younger little boy or girl when they got it for Christmas. I told both of them if they want new things for Christmas they have to make room for them. They both were genuinely excited to give away their things.
This brings us to the next important part of giving: letting go requires faith. In order to let go of my old clothes, dinner plates, lamps that have been in my attic for two years or the curtains from our first apartment, I have to believe that I will be able to replace them. I have to trust that if I let go of what no longer serves me that something better will come into my life to take it’s place. This goes way beyond stuff. It is the same for relationships, jobs and friends.
When I give things away I throw caution to the wind. I have absolute faith that whatever I let go of frees me up for more good. I trust that my needs will be provided for. So whether it is a friendship I’ve outgrown or a pair a jeans, I know I’ll be taken care of. When I hold on to stuff that no longer serves me be it a job, a friendship, a romantic partner or that duvet on my bed, I’m essentially telling the universe I don’t trust there is anything new or good in store for me. It’s living in fear. It’s clinging to the certainty of what I have (even if it’s not right for me) versus being open to the uncertainty of what is possible for me. As Tony Robbins says, the quality of your life depends on the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with. Uncertainty is the spice of life.
So if you need to beef up your tolerance for uncertainty. If you want some new, fresh and exciting in your life get in your closets, attic and garage and give with reckless abandon.
I promise the joy you get out of it will trump anything you miss that you give away.