Today's Skype client told me her previous job had brought her a lot of accolades and success, but she lost interest over time. She also felt that job took her away from taking care of her personal life. She ended up leaving that job. She trained for a new kind of job that she felt would be very fulfilling. Before starting the new job, she took time off to clutter bust her home and lighten the load. She was able to let some things go, but then she got stuck.
We went over the areas that she had difficulty with. What caused her the most difficulty were boxes of papers from the job that she left. Even though she lost interest in the job, she was feeling attached to the memories of when she enjoyed the job. She also liked that a lot of people were happy with the work that she did. She got overwhelmed with feelings and shut down.
I said to my client that at one time the job was a benefit to her. It served her by making her feel good about the work she was doing and the people she was serving. But now the reminders of the job, the papers, were causing her pain. They were keeping her stuck in the past and were not allowing her to be active in her new life.
As human beings, we are built for activity. We feel the most joy when we are interacting with things that we love. We suffer when we are in the presence of things that no longer serve us.
I said what would help her would be to think of the clutter busting of her home as her current "job." There's a focus that we bring to work that becomes useful when letting go. I said as she goes through her things, she'll come across items, like the work papers, that are loaded emotionally and will make her feel overwhelmed. But if she sees these things as red flag indicators of clutter, it will make it easier for her to make a supportive decision for herself. She'll be able to remove what's currently making her life miserable, and create space for her new life.
She decided to take the papers to be shredded.