Seeing Things We Don't Want to See, Letting Them Go

It can be hard to see our clutter. We are used to it being there and don't question it. We might be tired and overwhelmed and we just don't notice it. Sometimes the emotions behind the holding onto it are intense and rather than think about it we hide it away in a storage locker, or up on a shelf high enough that we can't see it, or in a box in the garage or in the back of the closet.

I was working with a client and we were going through her clothes closet. At the time she was going through a very intense and abusive divorce and was stressed out. In the back of her closet, all the way to the left, was an item of clothing packed inside a protective outside cover. I asked what was inside. She turned white and looked like she was gone in a trance. She said it was her wedding dress. I asked if we could let it go. She looked panicked and her jaw tensed. She got defensive and said no. I asked her what she wanted to do with it. She said she wanted to give it to her daughter for when she got married. Her daughter was five.

I said, “Do you want to have this hanging around in your closet for at least fifteen years having the extreme negative effect it's having on you now? Or would you like to feel peace of mind every time you open your closet?" She said, "I know, I know, you're right, but my daughter might want the opportunity to wear it at her wedding."

I said, "Do you want your daughter to be married in something that is loaded with so many negative associations? Or would you like her to have something new and fresh so she has a chance at a good relationship? ”She cried. She sobbed for a good few minutes. She saw that keeping the wedding dress was not serving her or her daughter. She let it be donated.

Is there anything that you can think of in your living space that you've been ignoring that is loaded like this wedding dress was for my client? Is there something that you own that makes you uncomfortable and stressed, and you'd rather not think about it? These things debilitate us. They weaken our core. We may rationalize the reason we don't want to let it go. But when I see my clients let these things go, I see them come back to life. Feeling the vitality of life is the most satisfying feeling there is.