Yesterday I was working in the basement of a new client. There was no space to walk. There were tall piles of things everywhere. She was intimidated to come down there. For months she had been throwing things she didn't want to deal with into the basement from the stairs. She finally came down. I waded into an area and started asking her questions about each individual item.
She was resistant about letting things go. She would say she didn't like something and I would ask her if she could let it go and she would say no. It was as if she was getting comfort from hanging onto the thing even though it was making her live in a way that was making her very uncomfortable.
I noticed she kept referring to events that happened over twenty years ago. It was a period of great accomplishment. It was also a time that was extremely overwhelming and stressful and it was destroying her health and well being. It got to be too much and she left that life and moved and retreated into her current home. To protect herself she surrounded herself with things and depression. She talked about her past and current life with self-loathing.
I pointed out she got away from a situation that was detrimental and harsh and she's been living with a similar situation since. She used to work around unhealthy people and work conditions and now she lives in an unhealthy environment with her caustic mind. She got quiet. It was a sobering and grounding moment.
I asked her about the items in the basement and she began to let things go. She understood that the things she thought were serving her were hurting her. There was relief for her in letting go.