Letting Go of Something that is Memory Charged

Here's a question from one of my blog readers:

"I have recently bought and implemented the strategies from your book. I'm currently moving across the country and I'm getting rid of 95% of my possessions. I have found it relatively easy to part with most of my things, but there are some things I'm struggling with letting go. I have written in journals since I was nine and probably have 2 dozen journals filled with my writing. In spite of the fact that I have no plans to publish my memoirs, I am resisting getting rid of these memories. It feels like by throwing away these things, I am somehow rejecting my old self. Any advice?"

It sounds like you really enjoy writing in the journals. Since you've been doing it since you were nine, it's a natural part of your creative expression. What's not part of your natural process is doing something with the journals after you've written in them.

By bringing them up as a question in your clutter busting process means there's an element of clutter in them. That's why you are considering letting them go. However there is a "struggle". That happens sometimes. There is a part of you that sees you don't need them, and another part that cherishes the "memories." I like that you wrote "I am somehow rejecting my old self". The pull of memories can be profound. It feels like you are losing a part of yourself.

What I've found is that when someone takes a look at their relationship with the item in question and sees that it is no longer a part of their life, and they let go of the thing that is memory charged, there is a feeling of relief. They are not having to maintain an old way of seeing themselves anymore. It pulls them very much into the present moment. It brings freshness into their life. The way they see themselves is very much based on what is occurring in their life now. They don't lose the memories that they associate with the thing they let go of. Those are always with them.

With all this information, you get to look inside and see what you feel to do. You know what's best. I know that can sometimes be a hard decision. But whether you keep something or not is not important. The value is looking at what matters to you in the moment. I've seen a lot of people be amazed at the things they see when they take a closer look at their life. With greater personal clarity comes a certainty in knowing what to do.