What to do when you can’t get rid of something (or someone)

What to do when you can’t get rid of something (or someone)

My book club started off the new year with an appropriate book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone.  It truly is life-changing. I won’t go into a full review of the book or the ways in which it can save your life, but I do want to focus on one particular idea.

One of the iconic suggestions the author of the book, Marie Kondo, offers is that for every item you thoughtfully consider whether or not it brings you joy.  Does this red sweater bring you joy?  Do these shoes?  Does this vase that your sister in law gave you spark joy in your life or not?  If so, keep it.  If not, get rid of it.  Simple as that.

If something does not spark joy but you have a hard time getting rid of it, ask yourself, “Am I having trouble getting rid of this because of an attachment to the past or because of a fear of the future?” Ask this for everyone of such items.

Look for your ownership pattern because it is an expression of the values that guide your life. Do you tend to have an attachment to the past or a desire for stability in the future, or both?

In recent life reflections, I have realized that this way of thinking can also be applied to people in your life.  Have a relationship that’s on the rocks yet you can’t seem to break away?  Is that because you’re holding on the past of afraid of your future?

Sometimes the rules of decluttering our spaces can be applied to decluttering our personal relationships — and this, too, can be life-changing.

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