We can have an idea in our minds of why we need something even though it's not actually serving us. It's the thoughts that we have, the rationalizing, that is what's holding onto this thing. That's why I ask a lot of questions when I'm working with a client. Especially when there is some drama or confusion about something in particular. It helps their mind untangle so they can get a clearer awareness of what's going on.
I was working with a client who had spent years hanging onto her children's things, even though her children were now adults with places of their own. She was keeping piles of their toys, stuffed animals, clothes, and a lot of miscellaneous school stuff from when they were kids. All this stuff was in their old rooms. My client told me she felt that if she let go of her children's things, she would be getting rid of her children's childhood.
I asked her if she enjoyed her children's stuff. She said that she never went into their old rooms. I asked her how it felt keeping her kids' stuff up in their old rooms. She thought about it and said it made it uncomfortable for her and her husband to live in their home. I asked if she offered for her children to take their old things. She said she offered but none of them took her up on it. I asked her what she liked about her children's lives now. She excitedly told me about the things her children were currently involved in.
I told my client that her children would never lose their childhood. What they did when they were kids evolved into what they are doing now. If she let their old childhood things go, she would be accepting what her children have become, and she would feel more connected with her children.
My client let go of her old way of seeing things. It was a powerful emotional moment for her. She was then able to begin to pack up her children's things for donation.