Staying Open for Ourseslves

Sometimes we know a thing is clutter, but we still have difficulty letting it go. We often feel badly knowing it doesn't serve us, and yet still it sits there on the shelf, or in a box, or hanging in our closet, or it's still an activity we do each day. "Why can't I let this go?"

What happens is we identify with this thing. It feels like a part of us. We think if we let it go, it will hurt us. We're involved with this thing. It feels painful even considering questioning its place in our life.

When this happens with clients, I hold the item in question and sit quietly while they tell me their fears and insecurities about letting it go. There's something about sitting still and silent that lowers the heat of the involvement. I'm sitting with their turbulence. It feels like watching the pain and anguish from a distance, and it naturally starts to diminish. It feels like airing out an old, musty and dank room.

I did this with a client last week. He had some papers that brought up great turmoil for him. I listened quietly. When he was done, I questioned for him that living with something which brought up so much pain perhaps would not help him live happily in his home. He agreed. He seemed to have gotten the space between him and the papers to have the clarity to know what to do.

You can do the same thing for yourself. You can sit with the emotional turmoil that comes up. Rather than push it away, or put the thing back in its hiding place, or find something to distract yourself. Think of it as applying compassion. It's inherent in you. "I'm going to leave my heart open for myself as I observe this." You can do it for another person, and you can do it for you. See what happens. You're worth the effort.