Both baggage and clutter have the same effect, whether they are in the form of physical objects or emotional chaos. They drag us down and take up valuable space that could be filled with something more positive, useful and beneficial. Baggage has sneaky ways of sticking around and multiplying. Something that once benefited us is now outdated, but it’s been with us so long we don’t tend to it or even notice it’s still there.
It’s important to go through our physical spaces and clear out the junk — and it’s even more important to clear out the debris that has accumulated in our minds and subconscious. What are some signs you may need to clear out the emotional and mental rubbish? Feeling exhausted can be one indication. When everything is a chore and life starts to feel like endless drudgery. Depression and anxiety can be notable symptoms, as well. Are you feeling reactive instead of responsive to certain situations that appear? It might be time to throw out the “trash.”
So how would one declutter their mental and emotional baggage? Well, much of what we have accumulated is due to holding on to the past. If we don’t like what happened in our past, it usually causes fear and anxiety about the future. Cutting the cords from past experiences, people and places is incredibly freeing. We can change our perspective of the past, drop the stories that surround it, and focus on the present moment. This lets us dissolve the clutter around the future, as well. It makes room for the “present,” where there wasn’t space for it before. Life can only be lived in the present moment, so we need to stop spending so much time anywhere but here.
We can’t change the past, but we can accept what happened and learn from the experiences. By resisting what has happened in the past, or the negative aspects of our current circumstances, we are basically trying to swim upstream in our lives. It is exhausting and we hold ourselves back from living. We need to accept how situations unfolded and also accept the outcome, explore where we are adding resistance, and learn what we need to do to move forward. Learning from the experience is the best way to avoid having to relive similar occurrences in the future.
We do not want to hold back from living our lives fully. Acceptance is surrendering; stop struggling and allow. Surrendering is not giving up.
Make the conscious decision to view everything that happens in life, both positive and unsatisfactory occurrences, as some sort of opportunity. It could be the opportunity to heal, change course or learn a valuable lesson. Start seeing the events as beneficial and a chance to explore your responses and learn more about the deepest corners of yourself. If you aren’t sure what you want in life, one of the best teachers for clarity is experiencing what you don’t want. Even that can be a gift.
Would you like to know a secret? Consider this:
• Letting go of the past doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you care enough about yourself to heal.
• Forgiveness doesn’t mean you agree with someone’s actions, or that they won’t be held accountable, or that you need to forget. It is deciding that whatever happened will no longer affect you. You do it to free yourself of baggage, not free the other person of karma.
• There is no redemption in pain, guilt and shame. We continue to beat ourselves up about our mistakes, as if it is the ethical thing to do, when we are only furthering our own dysfunction, which will affect the people around us. Forgive yourself and strive to do better, and to be better.
Love yourself enough to determine what your issues are, and what you need to do to heal. Then let go and move on to make space for what you want.