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“If you want your life to move on, you must let go, and be open-hearted”

The first Chapter of my book is all about seizing the moment, infact that’s what it’s titled. Having read it all the way through, it’s very clearly meant to help those who are fresh out of a relationship forget their pain. Grasping every opportunity to be with friends, try new experiences, and breathe some life into the newly single, it is the prep work required prior to reconstructing the independent person that existed before the relationship and its end.

Seizing the moment is not something I’m very good at. I’m too busy living for tomorrow. Everyday, I’m working to get through the day, to accomplish my “to-do” list, so I can be prepared for tomorrow. I live for a better time, I live for the future I hope to have, the career I hope to achieve, the home I want to build to raise my future children in. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, that I do now, is meant to positively impact my future.

Because I’m living for a brighter future, I do very little and spend very little on myself today. I am my biggest critic, despite my mother’s efforts, and I push myself, hard. I throw myself into whatever my goal is. The phrase, “work hard, play harder” does not apply to me as I simply skip play time to work harder. I know my limitations and force myself to miss out on sleep to exceed them.  I am strong and determined and have a “no excuses” attitude. Every decision I make, I ask myself, “is this what’s best for me in the long run?” Consequently, I find myself to be a bit of a hoarder as I often save my belongings thinking I may need them in the future.

This wouldn’t be a problem if I had all the space in the world to store them. But I’m confined to my closet and while it’s big enough to walk in, my stuff has easily begun to ooze out the door and spread throughout the house.

One suggestion from my book, which many would probably find to be an easier task, potentially even enjoyable to accomplish, is having a good clean sweep. For me that entails countless hours of re-evaluating, re-organizing, going through memories, crying, –oh and major ANXIETY.  I don’t know what it is but while others would find such an objective therapeutic, I find this chore mentally exhausting.

I come from a family of hoarders. Luckily my sister, being the health nut that she is, participated in some free life coach for a day by phone session. Every hour for ten minutes you called in and listened to a broadcast of some woman who’s made a career out of coaching people through life. I decided to sit in on one of these calls and wouldn’t you know, it was just the one I needed to hear. Her guest speaker chit chatted about cleaning! At one point she challenged listeners with my predisposition to trust that they will have what they need when they need it and can therefore “let go” of what they don’t need now.

At the beginning of December, knowing Christmas was well on its way, I determined it was time to clean out my closet before anything new could go in it!! Having lost my boyfriend nearly 7 months ago I had to emotionally prepare myself for the belongings of his I would stumble upon. Tossing out my items, is one thing (and hard enough), knowing what to do with his, was going to be a complete other.

I recruited the help of a friend to get me into the swing of saying, “toss it”, “you don’t need it”, “when was the last time you even saw that?”. There were some things, I had to set aside in a pile to be dealt with later, but I always did go back and deal with it. I made the decision to be environmentally and economically conscious, recycling what could be recycled, taking clothing to consignment shops and then donating to thrift stores and resale places. I gave childhood toys to friends with children, saving only my prized Barbie dolls for my future children (can’t get rid of everything). After an entire month of regularly going into my closet, sometimes spending hours in there cleaning and other times looking at the mess still left to handle and walking right out, I managed to find my floor! With the money I made selling old items I have purchased new shelves. Everything has been neatly arranged and the space is now functional. I came to the realization that not only do I have what I need, but can now find it!

Despite the anxiety, the tears that poured from my eyes, indeed the clarity and cleanliness was therapeutic at last.

And believe it or not, going through my boyfriends belongings wasn’t as much trouble as I anticipated. In donating my unnecessary belongings, I found more than enough space to save the momentous items of his.

By de-cluttering my home, I find myself less stressed.(You see I’m also, oddly enough, diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. For me a messy home equals such a large amount of stress that its paralyzing.) Having a clean slate and letting go has given me the opportunity to open my heart to the endless possibilities awaiting me. I poured a months time into creating a healthier and happier home environment. Some would say that’s crazy but I found it essential for the soul. I find I have less excuse to stay home. I’m no longer crippled by the mess that used to take over me. I am ready for an adventure!

Bring it on!

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