Have your closets ever gotten so full you couldn't find anything?
Is your closet like mine, filled with clothes you've forgotten about, clothes you can't bear to part with, knowing you'll never wear them again, or clothes that were very expensive mistakes? Is your closet filled with things that remind you of past lovers, friends and places?
The outer world reflects the inner world, so if your closets are full to the brim, then so is your emotional life!
We collect and accumulate, and while gathering the new, we often don't take time out to clear the old. But we don't always know what is useful and what can be discarded, because of our emotional attachments.
Here are a few simple steps for clearing emotional clutter so that you have the ability to take inventory and know when and what to let go and how to renew into the new. My old things are practical, comfortable, familiar... but sometimes they are tatty beyond repair, having outlived their usefulness. The challenge lies in letting go!
When we hang on to the past, we stop ourselves moving forward. Everything we have experienced has benefitted us, but sometimes we collect so many ideas and stories and beliefs that we keep telling ourselves over and over again, that we live in the story. We forget that we are constantly co-creating the present, and instead, we live in the past.
In order to focus on the new, we must look deeply within and find those patterns that lurk beneath the surface, day by day, year after year. These patterns influence our thinking and these thoughts trap us in the past. "I'll never have a boyfriend, I'll never get a job, I'll never be good enough" -- all these thought patterns are indicators of subconscious programming.
Here's an example: A friend was feeling insecure about a new partner; she was afraid he would stray. I asked her why. When she thought deeply about it, she realized her first real love, her first boyfriend, had done just that -- continually played the field, making her feel anxious and insecure. And then she realized all her relationships were short-lived, not because her boyfriends strayed, but because she had pushed them away before they could!
Subconsciously she had created a belief about boyfriends that became universal -- "all my boyfriends play around" -- and this belief was running her life and making her miserable, making her run away before they could cause her pain.
Step 1: Recognize your feelings, so you can see the program.
We don't often know what it is we are feeling. Are you sad, angry, frustrated, lonely, anxious? Focus on the feeling.
My friend saw that her emotion was about insecurity and anxiety -- she was feeling "not good enough" to keep her current boyfriend from straying.
Step 2: Identify the source.
When feelings arise, know that they have their history in your history.
The emotion you are feeling today has its roots in the past, in a story that repeats itself over and over again, because the original feeling has never been dealt with. It's unfinished business.
And the person you think is causing all this pain is just the catalyst for you to uncover your emotional triggers, so you can move past them in a balanced way. This is self-sovereignty, where we go from victim/perpetrator to empowered self-knowing creator.
Step 3: Feel that old pain.
Our mind can be like a wild stallion, running amuck. It doesn't want to focus on anything, let alone pain! But if you stay with the feeling, the feeling will eventually dissipate. If my friend stays with the pain of the first betrayal and really feels the sadness, anger, loss of hope, loss of power... she will move through it. And while the memories remain, the pain will be gone -- and so will the program.
Step 4: Bring in the new.
Throw out the old and tattered clothes, the clothes that no longer fit, the expensive mistakes. Focus on thinning out the closet, so you can make way for the new -- for new beliefs and ideas about yourself, not based on the past, but on the future you are creating.
If you want results you must do this continuously. It's like wanting to get in shape -- if you go to the gym once you may notice a slight difference but if you go regularly you're sure to see your body develop.
Life doesn't have to be complex. Clear the decks and there's more room to experience what is new and relevant now, in every moment. If we can just go inside as often as possible and take inventory of what we are experiencing, good and bad, then we won't accumulate so much unconsciously. We can bring our super-conscious awareness in.
Sometimes we get surprised, and an emotion we think we have fully experienced rears its head again. But this is your opportunity to find out more and delve deeper. Sometimes that's what life calls us to do, so we can resonate with the now.
So with the new season upon us, let's take a moment to clear out the old and bring in the new, for our bodies, our minds, our souls and our closets!