Things come and go in our lives. At one point we don't have them, then they are a focal point of our lives, then they go by the wayside.
You can look at your life and remember the things that came and went. When they were new, there was an excitement and a feeling of confidence that came with them. The things fit your life and you felt the benefits.
But then there's a waning period where the use for the thing starts to fall away. You lose interest. You stop wearing or using the thing. This often becomes the troublesome area for people. Rather than be tossed or donated, the thing has a way of being left in a pile with other things that are of no use. Or it gets mixed in with the things that matter, muddying things up. Sometimes it is given a storage locker to live in.
The holding on, the not letting go causes grief. There's something about not completing the cycle that exhausts and dissipates us. Holding on to something that no longer feeds us, generates anxiety and frustration. The chaos we feel often makes us hold on tighter.
That's why I encourage the questioning. "Is this thing benefiting me or not?" "Do I still love this or is it time to let it go?" "Would I buy this today if I were out shopping?" It's the honest questioning and answering that makes us see, "Wait a second, I don't need this anymore. I'm letting it go."
I got an email from someone who talked about her experience of things coming and going. She liked purchasing clothing from thrift stores She wrote about, "the many gorgeous things over the years I have enjoyed wearing and then given back to the stores when I've moved on. I love taking care of the used clothes knowing someone else will get to enjoy it too! My clothes are rentals, just like everything else truly is."
Then she wrote a beautiful quote that sums it all up:
"And we are more in touch with the only thing we'll ever have, which is our life." (Everyday Zen, Joko Beck).