“We need to find the courage to say no to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.”
– Barbara De Angelis
If you look around your house or apartment, will you find remnants left from past relationships? Do you have jewelry, books, CDs, furniture that came from your past partner? Are you still holding on to these because they bring you fond memories? Do you think you may still get back together and will want the items later? Do you like to look at them and remember when times were better? Is this really doing you any good at all?
When I was younger, the first thing I did after a breakup was to purge anything from my life that reminded me of my ex-boyfriend. Stuffed animals, pictures, matchbook covers from restaurants, records – everything went immediately. But somewhere along the way, I started collecting stuff – a few pieces of jewelry here, a picture there, a box of trinkets to look at when I wanted to remember. This all seemed very innocent until I went through a divorce a few years back.
While I wasn’t left with much after the divorce, I did keep our wedding album, my wedding rings, and some other small items. In the time between our separation and divorce, I did manage to give away a few of those items and to discard most of the pictures. But I kept my wedding rings. If I was truthful with myself, I thought I should keep them in case we got back together. Really though, I was keeping them because I couldn’t let go of a dream.
Dreams die hard. But the reality is that our marriage died long before our separation. And the items I kept only served to remind me of the difficult times we shared – not the happy ones. What about you? Do the items you have from past relationships really make you happy? Or do they make you melancholy? And if they make you melancholy, wouldn’t it be better to get rid of them? How strong can you be if something is making you sad every time you look at it? Wouldn’t it be better to turn it into something positive – to let it go and leave the space open for something new?
I did that today. I took my rings to the jeweler and sold them. I only got a fraction of what was paid for them originally, but I needed the money and was satisfied with the amount. And driving home, I realized I was really happy. I had let go of something that brought me mostly sad memories. I no longer had any physical connection left to my past relationship. And I had opened up some space in my life that could be filled with something new and positive. That was worth much more than what the jeweler paid me.
What about you? Those things that slowly squeeze your heart when you look at them – could you let them go? Sell them on e-bay? Donate them to charity? Can you get rid of what’s not serving you today? I did. And I feel stronger, freer and more positive about my life. I hope by taking a chance and releasing some of your unhappy past, you can do that for yourself. After all, you deserve to feel strong. And you definitely deserve to be happy!