#truelove #allowing #dating
There, I said it.
Yes, squirreled away in the dark recesses of my house, I still have boxes of things I haven’t seen or used in over 20 years. I have food in the freezer that is over six months old. I have postage stamps issued during the 1984 Olympics, when it cost 13 cents to send a letter first-class. I have a cigar box full of those tiny keys you get when you buy a new suitcase, each pair neatly secured with a twist-tie.
I hang on to more bubble wrap and cardboard boxes than I need, “just in case.” I have floppy disks dating back to the early ’90s and containing God knows what (without the computer technology to open them even if I wanted to see what was on them). Stacked neatly in the corner of my desk drawer is a year’s worth of price tags for clothes I’ve bought… and washed… and worn.
Most people who know me as the space-clearing expert, a healer of homes, a teacher and devoted messenger of hope to the clutter-weary, are surprised when I tell them I am not clutter-free.
Your home may be free of all excess, super-organized and neat as a pin, but I hate to break it to you: If you live in a body that thinks thousands of thoughts a day (not all positive), feels pain and loss and fear from time to time, gets out of balance, or loses itself in the worries of the moment, you’re not clutter-free either.
The fact is that most humans suffer, one way or another, from a condition called “holding on.” I was born with squirrel tendencies based on a deep fear that there is not enough to go around. Softening the hard wiring of my past is my “Hero’s Journey,” a spiritual pathway that involves consciously clearing one suitcase key, postage stamp, and freezer-burned lump that passes as food at a time.
But this is good. The past two decades in the clearing business have taught me that we can soften our grip of attachment, slowly and gently, by first naming and feeling the object of our stress and distress. We can release the charge that these issues hold by taking them less personally and seriously. We can change our relationship with any thing by clearing it consistently, or just moving it from the floor to the drawer, with compassionate awareness.
Yes, even a single paperclip or hairball has the potential to change our lives.
Would you like to lighten your load right now? Consider this simple clearing practice:
Tune in to a problem or a challenge in your life that you’d like to let go of. It could be a worry about someone or something, a habit you’re trying to break, or a relationship that isn’t working for you. Choose any thing or thought that makes you feel uncomfortable, out of balance, or stuck.
Write it down on a separate piece of paper and release (burn, shred, or toss) it with complete sensory awareness. Or, if you feel safe enough, share the issue in the comment box of this blog post and imagine it being released for the highest good of all concerned when you hit the submit button.
For one minute notice how it feels to let go of your story: Observe the thoughts, allow sensations, experience any emotional charge, and notice your breathing. (Is it shallow? Is it relaxed?) Allow any and all feelings to arise without doing anything to fix, personalize, or second-guess them.
How do you feel now? Do you notice if you feel the same or differently than when you began the exercise? And if you were not moved to clear something just now, what did you notice from simply considering the idea?
It’s pretty simple, really. When we shine light on the places we resist in ourselves, one gentle step at a time, we restore balance. Like a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world creating massive weather changes in another, so too can intentional baby steps lead to a sea change in our homes and lives, a clearing movement of global proportions!
Don’t cyber-stalk. This has become the modern-day version of doing a drive-by. If you get the urge, say to yourself, “Suppose I check his/her Facebook or other social media. Then what? What will I gain?” If you see something, it will upset you, and if you don’t, it will only encourage you to continue checking, thereby setting up an obsessive-compulsive way of thinking.
Don’t make desperate pleas to win your ex back. If you feel compelled to do so, examine your motivation. Is it to be truly back with the person, or is it to alleviate feelings of rejection? Desperate attempts will only make you seem less appealing to your ex. Understand your intention. Do you miss your ex specifically, or do you miss the idea of having a partner? The two are very different.
Don’t self-medicate. Popping pills, drinking heavily, and doing drugs will only numb your sad and anxious mind, and it won’t teach you how to mourn the loss of a relationship, provide you with any insight, or help you move on.
Don’t rely on rebound sex. It will merely be a distraction and end up making you feel bad about yourself.
Don’t define yourself by your ex. You’re much more than a former girlfriend or boyfriend. You’re a friend, sibling, son, daughter, colleague, and someone’s future partner.
Don’t complain too much about your ex. That person is your ex, and whatever negative things plagued your relationship, you no longer have to deal with them. Repeated negative self-talk about your ex will only keep you mired in the past and reinforce just how incompatible the two of you were.
Don’t get into a new relationship and play out the drama of the previous one. Out of fairness to yourself and any future boyfriend or girlfriend, sort out the previous relationship. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the type of partner you desire? What can you do differently in your next relationship?
Do be clear about how you feel and where you stand. If you love him or her, clearly state it in certain terms. If you did the dumping, don’t sugarcoat the reasons. Spell out why it isn’t working, and tell your partner that it is over. This will eliminate any doubt and ambiguity.
Do surround yourself with friends and family members. They’ll usually support you even if you’re the villain.
Do look at your ex in their entirety. After a breakup, we often miss all the good things about the person and overlook the negative parts that led to the break up. Make sure you remember both when you think how much you want to be back together.
Do get rid of items that make you feel connected to your ex. Love letters, pictures, and songs will only hold you back.
Do keep your anxious mind in check. Our mind can play tricks on us when we’re sad, anxious, or heartbroken. People have a tendency to come up with explanations for the breakup that may not be true — for example, “She met someone new and is getting married next month,” or, “He never loved me.” When your mind wanders, separate fact from fiction by asking yourself, “Where’s the evidence to support the belief?” If there is none, then it goes into the fiction category.
Do think of all the reasons your ex is not healthy for you. Create a new ending in your mind where you reject him or her rather than you being rejected. Move from being the rejected to the rejecter. This will change the dynamic and make you feel more empowered and less like a victim.
In relationships, people’s identities often become fused with one another. They forgo many things that are important to them and their own interests. For instance, they may spend less time with their dear friends or not participate in activities or hobbies that they enjoy. The danger is that resentment might develop, and that that could lead to stress in the relationship. And, should the relationship not work out, one might be left aimless and depressed because of having shed the things that were so meaningful to you. Bottom line: The next relationship you’re in, make sure you continue to do the things that you enjoy doing.
For more tips on dealing with breakups and healthy relationships, check out my book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.