Consider Gail’s situation. She was moving to a new home and had purchased new furniture. As she looked around her house trying to decide what pieces of existing furniture she wanted to take with her, she noticed the antique sewing cabinet in her living room. It had been handed down to Gail by her mother.
Although Gail loved to sew, she no longer wanted this family heirloom. Why? Every time she looked at it all she could think of was her mother’s constant criticism. The cabinet filled her with sadness and anger. The cabinet reinforced Gail’s old story that she wasn’t good enough.
She had not realized it until that moment, but she associated her story of not being good was rooted in her mom’s unkind comments. Because Gail was ready to let go, she decided to get rid of this heirloom. As she released it, she freed herself from the story that she’d never be good enough and embraced a new story instead.
Have you ever found yourself in Gail’s position, holding onto objects because you felt like they described your story? Maybe it’s a set of cheap china plates from your grandmother and the belief that you’ll always struggle financially. Or maybe it’s the hideous clothes that Aunt Martha gave you that represent who you think you should be.
Just because an item was given to you doesn’t mean you must keep it! Get rid of objects that pull you down and remind you of negative experiences. It can be exhilarating to donate or throw out items that keep you mired in the past.
Gifts aren’t the only items that can keep you physically linked to old stories. Broken things can, too. For example, after filing the divorce papers to end her abusive marriage, one woman came home and immediately began repairing holes in her wall.
Those holes had been created when her soon-to-be ex had punched the wall repeatedly in a rage. For her, fixing the holes signified a new beginning. She and her children would no longer live in brokenness.
Is there something in or around your home that’s broken and troubling you? Maybe it’s a faucet that continually drips or the socket covers that need to be replaced. Fixing broken things can help you release an old story so you can begin a new one.
Make it a habit to surround yourself only with those things that bring joy and purpose to your life. You don’t have to suddenly become a minimalist and throw out all your knickknacks. However, it is helpful to periodically evaluate all the objects, gadgets, furnishings, appliances, clothing, and so on in your home and determine if they serve a positive purpose in your life.
As you evaluate your home and its contents, disposing of objects and broken things that no longer serve you, remind yourself that you’re not just letting go of your old stories. You’re making space for your present and your future, and that’s a powerful activity that will change your life.