One of my clients was talking with me over the phone about having a difficult time letting go of collectibles and antiques. She said they had taken over her living space and it was making her uncomfortable. She tried to let go, but she kept stopping herself.
I asked my client about her history with getting and keeping these kind of things. She said when she was a little girl, her mom would throw those things out without asking her. She would go looking for something and couldn't find it and would ask her mom who would admit to getting rid of her stuff but wasn't remorseful. It happened a lot. I could hear the anger in my clients voice.
I told my client that she wasn't letting go of these particular things now because of her anger at her mom for letting go of these same kind of things back when she was a kid. My client said that she wasn't angry. I told her that the anger was resonating strongly in her voice when she was talking about her past. I said maybe she wasn't aware of the anger because she didn't express her anger about what her mom did when she was a kid. She said that she had to be cautious around her mother. I said that made sense for back then. But now it was okay to feel angry.
I said that her mom was no longer responsible for her life. Her life was now in her own hands. There was no one to be scared of. She was capable of doing a good job of taking care of herself. She could go through her home and remove the things that were making her life uncomfortable. I could hear the anxiety fall away in her voice. There was a sense that things were okay now. She said she was looking forward to clutter busting.
Sometimes we can get internally tangled up in things from the past. This can make us frustrated when trying to take care of our lives. But by taking a soft look around at how we process things, we can see the tangles and start to gently pull them apart.