Last night I gave a clutter busting talk at a local library. I opened it up to the audience for questions about their clutter situations. It's easier to illuminate the clutter busting process through actual demonstrations.
A woman told me about guilt she felt over a book she let go of a few years ago. Her father had given it to her and he had written some words to her in the front section. She had been regularly combing eBay in hopes of finding the actual copy. She spent a lot of time wishing she could get the book back. There was sadness in her eyes and voice.
I asked her some questions. I didn't get the sense that she was attached to the book in and of itself. Her father had died recently. I said, "It sounds like you are feeling sad about the loss of your dad. You're regretting the loss of the connection you had with him. That's why there was so much sadness in you. Finding the book won't get rid of the pain in your heart. The sorrow is powerful because it is your connection with your father. It's still there, it's just changed its shape. It's direct and immediate, just like when he was alive. The sorrow will eventually pass. The love you feel for him will remain."
The painful look in her face was gone. It seemed to me that a burden had been lifted.