Today I helped a client with her clothes closet. She had gone through it recently, but it had a heavy dull feeling and I knew it was harboring some clutter.
I had her sit and get comfortable. I asked her what was her favorite store to shop for clothes. She told me. I said, "Today you're shopping for clothes. You're only going to buy the things that make you feel happy, and beautiful and peaceful." I held up one at a time for her to make a decision. It was was easy to help her because when I held up something she no longer liked, she make a face that looked like she had taken a bite of something that had gone bad. I would point this out to her and she would agree that she no longer liked it. She was letting go of about half the items in her closet. We also let go of the hangers without clothes. Many people have "empty" clothes hangers. This makes a person unconsciously feel like they need clothes to put on the hangers, and it triggers the buying impulse.
Then we came to the oblong box that was on the top shelf of the closet. It said, "My Wedding Dress". I said, "How about this?" She looked very pale and sickly and her eyes were filled with sadness and fear. She said she wanted to keep it. She was divorced. I asked her if she liked being married. She said, "The first year, yes, the last nineteen, no." I asked what she wanted to do with it. She had to think about it. Then she said she wanted either of her two daughters to have the option of wearing it when and if they get married. She looked very far away when she said this.
I said, "You want them to marry into the legacy of this dress? There's a lot of unhappiness associated with this outfit. Perhaps you might want them to get a fresh start. It would be nice to let them choose the dress they would like to wear if they get married." She agreed and seemed sad still.
I asked if she would like to be married again. She said, yes, if she could find a really good partner. I said, "Letting go of the dress opens the door for the possibility for a new good relationship to show up. Hanging onto it is a reminder of how relationships don't work out. It's nice to have the space for something new. You deserve to be happy, whether that means happy by yourself, or happy with someone who is a kind and nice person."
She smiled. I got the sense that she was tired of living the old way and wanted to take better care of herself. I took the wedding dress out of the closet. She said that it felt lighter now.