An Experiment

Sometimes we hang on to something that we no longer use and love. A part of us can feel like we would be losing something if we let go, even though we've already lost the love and use of the thing. It doesn't make sense, but we're under the spell of the thing. How do we let go?

I remember a client in a situation like this who sat amongst her boxes of memorabilia. She realized intellectually that she wasn't ever looking at and enjoying the stuff in these boxes. Years had passed and she hadn't opened the boxes. But a part of her was scared to let go of anything in them. She didn't know why.

I said what if, as an experiment, she tried letting something go and seeing what happened. This way she could experience for herself if she'd be okay or that all hell would break lose. I asked if she was willing to try and see just this one time.

She was getting frustrated at herself for being stuck, so she agreed to give it a try. She decided to let go of some pamphlets she had picked up from a hotel she stayed at in France. It was difficult for her to loosen her fingers so the papers would fall into the recycling bag, but she let the papers go.

I asked how she felt. She said it was weird but she felt quieter. I asked if she liked quieter. She said in a weird way she did.

I said that maybe weird in this situation was good. It was certainly better than the frustration she'd been feeling only seconds ago. I said her willingness to take a non-judgmental look helped part the frustration so she could get back some clarity enough to know what to do.

I asked if she would be okay giving it another try. She said she would.