Getting Rid of Clutter

My house is cluttered. I've read all those articles about ways to get rid of clutter, still I hate to throw things away. "If you haven't worn it or used it in a year, toss it," the articles recommend. Easier said than done. Unless it is no longer usable or I can't fit into it, I keep it. You never know, I tell myself, one day...; Consequently, my wardrobe is stuffed with clothes I've worn a few times; my mantle is filled with objects for which I've managed to find a place. My life too, has been cluttered with people who should have been let go; grudges held onto because of some incident I can no longer remember; and mistakes I've made in the past that replay in my mind.



It is easier to get rid of objects and clothes than it is to get rid of people. Why would I want to get rid of people? I ask myself. I had an acquaintance who always had something negative to say about people and everything. To her, sunny days will inevitably lead to rain. If she's feeling good, she knows something bad is about to happen. If I say something positive, she counters with something negative. Persons who always have negative outlooks are best left alone to swim in their misery lest they pull you down.



Grudges, too, should be let go. We've all heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys who fought each other for generations over something their grandchildren can hardly recall. The consequences were devastating for all involved. On the world stage, wars are still being waged - clan against clan, tribe against tribe, country against country over some incident that happened so long ago, it is no longer part of their consciousness. In some cases, one side holds the grudge while the other side has moved on. Holding a grudge gets in the way of living in the present. I am not aware of the other person as an individual when I hold a grudge. I see only the hurt that person caused me in the past.



Similarly, I realize that letting go of mistakes I've made in the past allows me to face each new day with confidence. Sure, I'll continue to make mistakes, but with each mistake, I will grow because I will have learned. Regrets are also something most of us experience. The important thing I've found is to learn from the mistakes, forget the regrets and move on.



Finally, sweet memories are fine as long as we don't live in them; as long as they don't motivate our actions in the present. Living in the past prevents us from being in the now. Memory can cause us to hold onto those grudges, can stop us from exploring new vistas because of past mistakes, and can cause us to look for dark clouds in everything we do.



In celebrating the joys of life, we must be free to approach each day refreshed, renewed, and with the expectations that it's going to be grand.

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