When Holding On Hurts Us

I had a client who dreaded going into her clothes closet. She couldn't wear the majority of what she owned because those things didn't fit her. They were a few sizes too small. She said she wanted to hang onto the too tight clothes in case she lost weight.

I asked her how long it had been since she fit into these clothes. She said six years. I said the presence of these clothes were causing her pain. She was scared to be around the clothing. She agreed, but she also felt she should be able to lose the weight. She was hoping that being around those clothes would inspire her.

I told my client that she'd been hanging onto what's too small for her to wear because she thinks that when she loses weight and fits into these clothes, she will be happy. But the reason she's not happy now is because she is hanging onto clothes that don't fit her. For six years, she'd been hoping that things would change so she could be happy again. When we don't flow with change, when we hold onto what no longer fits our life, we constrict our hearts, and we suffer.

My client saw the pain this situation was creating for her. She agreed to start going through the clothes and questioning each item. In the end she was able to let the old clothes go.

Sometimes the way we think distorts our life. We believe what we think and it blurs what's actually true. This hurts us, but we are disconnected from the cause of the pain, and this prevents us from doing what we can to feel better. It helps to step back and take a matter-of fact-inventory of what's actually going on.