I worked with someone who was in pain from emotional abuse she suffered from a friend. Her friend had stayed with her for a month while separated from her husband. She had verbally lashed out at my client a number of times. She made my client feel like she was to blame for her chaotic state. The friend had stayed with her over a year ago, but my client was still bruised and trying to recover. She had a bag of her friend's things that were left from her stay. She had tried to return them to her friend, however they were sent back to my client with a verbally abusive hand written note. My client felt guilty for her reactions.
She showed me the bag. As she held it in front of me she was sulking. She was down on herself for her friend's reactions. She kept thinking of where she had gone wrong. I told her that her reactions were an undeserved punishment. She had done nothing wrong. Her friend had been in a fractured state and had manipulated my client to keep from feeling the pain of her life in the moment. My client realized what had happened. She began to think of other times her "friend" had emotionally abused her. She saw the guilt she had been carrying around was clutter. It wasn't helping her. She stood up for herself. She came out of her clutter trance. She went outside and threw out the bag of stuff. There was color in her face again. Her voice grew stronger.
When we try and hang onto something that doesn't support us, we weaken ourselves. We may believe we need it even though it is draining. When we stop and ask ourselves, "How does this thing fit into my life?", we gain perspective. We get our lives back.