My client came across an archaic and musty smelling box in her garage. She opened it up and discovered her CD collection. There were CDs in jewel boxes, loose CDs, and CDs in carrying case wallets. She was excited and said, "There they are! I've been looking for these."
I asked her if she listened to CDs. Her enthusiasm waned. She said she mostly listened to cable radio in her car. Sometimes she would plug in her iphone and listen to music. But she didn't listen to her CDs anymore. It was hard for her to consider letting the CDs go.
I said initially it's hard to think of letting something go that we used to love and enjoy. When we see the thing, we remember the joy it once brought us. A part of us feels we will lose some happiness if we let it go. But our happiness is not isolated and inherent in things. It makes us unhappy when we try and contain it. Joy is a free-floating energy that tends to flow through us when we're engaged in something that matters to us now.
She felt good about putting the CDs in the donate pile.