Trading the Clutter for Our Peace of Mind

Sometimes there are things in our life that we don’t even think to question. We assume they are permanent in our lives. Those are definitely the things to ask “Is this a part of my life or not?” Asking about something’s value doesn’t automatically diminish its worth. If it turns out to be of value to us, it reminds us of its worth. But if its time has passed in our lives, we’re going to feel better when we let it go.

I was working with a client a few days ago who had a collection of newspapers wrapped in a plastic bag to protect them. I took the newspapers out of the bag. They were mostly New York Posts from 9-11. She lived close to where the World Trade Centers went down. She took the newspapers from me in a defensive gesture. I could feel an intensity of fear in her. I could feel September 11th come alive in her. Her eyes were distant and frightened. She wanted to put the papers back in the bag.

I asked if we could consider some of the papers. I took the collection of headlines and handed her one back to her. I asked her to hold it and close her eyes. She talked about how she smelled fires on that day. She was feeling grief. I said, “Whatever is in our home has an effect on us, whether it’s in our hands or it’s in the back of a closet. How does it feel to hold this newspaper?” She was focused on the feeling. Her breathing was tight. She sighed. She let the newspaper go. We went through a few more and she let them go too. Her presence was much quieter. She traded the papers for her peace of mind.