The cells of your body send out what they don’t need. They release toxins, waste products, and other substances into the blood. Your cells have to be able to do this to stay alive. Otherwise they would grow with waste that would prevent them from carrying out their functions.
And you know these functions also keep you alive.
Imagine if you could do the same as your cells.
This might sound extreme, but have you ever thought that holding to old stuff in your mind and heart might be keeping you from performing your necessary life functions? Not just the physical but all the emotional and spiritual too?
In the material world, we like to collect, accumulate, remember and save for future use. Most of us do this with things, especially if our houses are big enough to hold a lot of stuff. We fill all the rooms with our stuff that we want to hold on to.
If you are a Marie Kondo fan, you’ve maybe done a purge according to her principles. That is to get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Loads of people have lightened their load and passed on their old things to others. If you have ever cleared out the old stuff from your environment, you know it can give you a mental lift too. All that stuff just gone and only what you really want and need is left. It is freeing in a sense.
Have you ever thought to do the same with your inner world?
It’s really here that we have the greatest need of clearing out the old junk.
Clearing out the physical items in the outside world is great. But what about your inner world? What is in your mind and heart that is in your way?
Do you ever take time to take stock of what you hold onto that you don’t need any longer?
This process is much harder than tossing out old clothes and books. But it also brings true freedom and real possibility.
Most of us hold onto a lot of junk
There are books and shows about clearing out your possessions, turning to a simpler life. I’m a minimalist, so I appreciate all that. I like rooms with little in them. It frees the mind from distraction. What about inside?
What are you holding onto inside that isn’t useful, doesn’t bring joy and distracts you from what needs your attention?
These take the form of …
- mental focus
- the past
What I am really talking about with these are essentially the things you hold on to that cause you suffering in some form.
- Emotions that create suffering.
- Stories that limit what you can become.
- Beliefs that stop you from trying.
- Behaviors that are self-sabotage.
- Mental focus that makes for bad days and years.
- Habits that are damaging.
- Thoughts that don’t lead to solutions.
- People that suck energy
Most of us hold on to some form of all of these. I certainly do. I’ve been carrying around stuff that I don’t need for years and years.
And it causes suffering. It’s living in the past. It only takes a small reminder of an old experience and here comes the pain marching in.
It’s time to drop that junk now. Time for both me and you to drop them. Just set it down on the ground and walk away. You don’t even have to worry about the trash getting picked up. Just put it down and leave it alone forever.
Why do we hold onto this stuff?
It’s an addiction. Simply said, you have conditioned yourself over time to go there without a thought, and it’s hard to imagine life without it there.
You’ve created a home for yourself that is comfortable, what you are used to. Even when it causes suffering, stress, anxiety and doubt.
You still go there.
It’s in your body, in your mind and in every move you make. You wake up every morning, you go into the same routine, searching for how you should feel and remembering the pain you carry. This creates the same feelings, the same thoughts, the same decisions, and the same results.
Or maybe it surfaces when you feel like you need to connect with yourself. You bring out your old pains and experience them all over again. You get depressed, sad, lonely, hurt all again. Then it’s time to self-sooth with food, alcohol, shopping or whatever your addiction of choice is.
I know this, because I lived this too. I created needless suffering with my old emotions that I hung on to. I couldn’t let them go. And I let it go on by endless distraction.
Designing your life means making choices
If you want the life of your dreams, you have to choose what you are going to keep in your life and what you need to get rid of, just as you do with your material possessions.
You don’t want your room filled with piles of junk that are in your way.
It’s even more critical that you keep your mind and life cleared of all that crap that gets in your way too. It’s even more important than the stuff in your home. Because it determines the course of your life.
Changing is uncomfortable.
Most people avoid change. It doesn’t feel good. Getting rid of what isn’t needed on the inside and around us isn’t the easy road.
Anything you want to change whether it’s your story, your emotions, or your beliefs, is going to involve discomfort.
Suddenly you don’t fall into that old, familiar pattern any longer. It’s odd, unusual, strange and maybe frightening. Anyone who has tried to change an old habit knows exactly what that means. It’s pure discomfort. And the stronger the addiction, the more discomfort you feel.
You must make it through that pain to get to the other side. On the other side is freedom.
Make the choice
You have the choice in front of you.
Will you keep carrying around the stuff you don’t need any more or will let it go and free yourself?
One gives you a life of familiar pain. The gives you a life of growth with room to bring in more of what you need now.
All of us carry around stuff with us, everywhere we go that isn’t needed anymore. Things like emotions, stories, habits, and people. We are habituated and addicted to them and the way it makes us feel and experience life.
The truth is that this is the stuff that we most need to clear out. Even more than the piles of stuff in your home.
It is challenging, but it is what leads to real growth. Make the choice to design a life where you regularly evaluate what you don’t need anymore and let it go. Let any thing that isn’t serving you go. Choose this for yourself. Choose to create the life of your dreams.