Breakups are a pretty destructive force. But like any form of destruction, they leave space and opportunity to recreate, reinvent and renew. New friendships, new patterns, new experiences and new lives. I started the website neverlikeditanyway.com to help accelerate the moving on process. The website works like an eBay for breakups. You basically sell all the stuff you're left with when a relationship ends. It was designed to be cathartic, positive and proactive -- basically, everything breakups aren't!
We have some people selling some meaningful stuff -- like an engagement ring set for the reasonable breakup price of $6,000. "I thought I had found my prince charming, but it turns out he was looking for a mom not a princess".
We also have some people selling some strange stuff, like a bottle of ketchup for a grand total of $1. "I just don't like the stuff and now that he's gone, it's perfectly reasonable to assume his stuff should also go."
I had a feeling in my bones that it was a sensible idea. I mean, why would you want to hang on to souvenirs and reminders of a love lost? However, I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dana Claudat, of the Tao of Dana. She's an inspirational expert in Feng Shui and helped explain, in a more articulate manner, why selling breakup baggage is a good idea.
Dana made a real and clear connection between our physical surroundings and our emotional state. This was the first time this had really made sense to me. She explained it simply and beautifully.
Your space is a mirror of your life. During a breakup, there is usually a period of review: "Why did this happen? How did I create (or allow!) this to happen? And the answer to that life review, more extensive than a few questions, can be found in your space.
She then went on to explain that how we dress our spaces is often a reflection of what's going on with our lives. Whatever energy we create through our spaces, we replicate in the real world.
A person who dwells in fantasy (and fantasy relationships) often has a very airy-fairy, ethereal sense of space and may need more heavy objects and solid colors and even an area rug to create a sense of being grounded and more physically present.
Or you may find that you are living with tons of clutter in your space and you have, similarly, attracted a partner who has chaos in some ways. Clear that clutter for yourself and keep it clear. You will find far more clarity in keeping your space free of obstacles.
While this might sound a bit tricky to get your head around, if you really think about it makes sense. For most of the objects in my house, I can tell you a little story about them. Some are positive stories and reflections of who I am and where I am headed. Others are more binding, restricting and reflect a time in my life I'm happy to have moved on from. Yet they remain in my house. And therefore in my psyche.
"When you clear out the old, you stop constantly triggering yourself and sticking in this emotional energy pattern of the past," Dana says.
Clearing out and selling these souvenirs of your old life, and your old love, feels like a necessary step towards healing and moving on. Not doing so almost seems like going swimming with clothes on. You're just making it harder for yourself. The great thing about this way of thinking, is that it has application well beyond breakups. When you think about who you are and where you're headed, it's important to clear the way for what you want to grow into; not reflect a past that perhaps is weighing you down.