This is the 4th post of this series. To read the other posts, click here.
Jane held the glass jar in her hand, her fingers slowly tracing the pattern etched into the glass.
“It was my mom’s,” she said. “She always put candy in it during the holidays.”
She blew the dust out of the inside, a sign she hadn’t used it in awhile.
“What do you want to do with it?” I asked.
“I’m not sure.”
Sensing her reluctance, I asked her a series of questions to help her decide whether or not she really loved, used, needed, or wanted it.
“Until you came here to help me, I didn’t even know I had it. I just feel bad letting it go,” she said.
It was a sentence I’d heard time and time again. While I wasn’t going to tell her what to do, I was going to let her know it was okay if she didn’t want to hold onto it any longer.
“If you decide not to keep it, nothing bad will happen. In fact, you might bring a smile to someone else’s face by donating it so they can share candy in it just the way your mom did,” I told her.
“You’re right,” she said. “I just thought my mom would be mad if I didn’t keep it. I think she’d be madder if she knew I’d forgotten about it and never used it. She’d be happy to know someone else was using it!”
She placed the bowl in her donate pile and we continued working.
While letting go was a struggle, what my client really needed was permission to do so. To know that the world wasn’t going to end if she gave an item away. Permission to let go of what she no longer cared about so that someone else could benefit. Once she had that, placing that bowl in the donate pile was much easier.
Maybe you need permission to let go, too.
Why it’s so hard to let go
It can be hard to let go. I understand – I struggle to let go of items just like you do! It’s something everyone struggles with at one point or another.
Why? Because of
- fear of hurting someone’s feelings
- worry of the loss of the memory
- ______________________________ (any other reason you might have)
But the truth is we can’t hold on to everything.
You see when everything is important than nothing really is. We have to let go of the unimportant so that the important can have space and value in our lives.
So how do you let go? It starts with giving yourself permission.
Giving yourself permission to let go
Permission is defined as “consent or authorization”. Often times we just need someone to tell us it’s okay to let an item go. To give us the consent that we aren’t willing to give ourselves so that we can remove:
- the unnecessary
- the unwanted
- the unloved and
- the burdens that weigh us down (this includes not only physical burdens like stuff but also emotional ones such as anger, unforgiveness, and resentment to name a few)
At times a professional or a trusted friend can help us with that. But eventually, you and I have to learn to give ourselves that permission so that we can truly have the organized life we long for.
Will it be easy? Probably not. You will likely find it a battle every time you have to make the decision to let something go.
Will it be worth it? Most definitely! You’ll never know how light your life can be until you make the decision to let go of everything that weighs you down.
Your permission slip
While there are no steps or formulas to giving yourself permission, you can start with this:
Download your permission slip to let go by clicking here
Hang it up where you can see it while you’re decluttering or organizing and know that it’s okay to let go.
You’re not just giving yourself permission to let go, you’re giving yourself the gift of an orderly life.
Do you struggle giving yourself permission to let go? Why?
How can giving yourself permission make a difference in your efforts to get organized?
Leave a comment and let me know!