Creating Space for More of What you Want
Making room for the good stuff
Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck; wanting something or someone in your life, but feeling powerless to make it happen? I know that happens to me periodically. We can become somewhat complacent about our lives to the point that we no are no longer able to be very objective.
It can be difficult to step back and to view our lives from a less subjective stance. But, sometimes that is exactly what is needed to free ourselves of the inertia that has us in that place of feeling stuck.
We can get so caught up in acquiring things, and even people that we lose sight of what's truly important.
We all know people who are "hoarders". Yes, those who have an over abundance of "things" and continue to acquire more and more of the same type of things. It can start out innocently enough. Perhaps you are a movie buff and you collect DVD's of your favorite movies. But, what happens when you keep buying them until you run out of room to store them? At some point, you will realize that you can never watch every single DVD, and yet you now have the onus of providing a space for them.
Maybe it's more a case of not liking to ever throw anything away? Maybe you develop a sentimental attachment to your clothing or shoes? It can become impossible to throw away a cherished pair of jeans if they were your "lucky" jeans and wearing them always resulted in a fun time out. Or maybe you have so many shoes as to need to use more than one closet to store them. Maybe you feel that to get rid of any of them would leave you bereft and missing that one special pair of shoes?
Maybe you are a collector of people? Are there people in your life that no longer serve a purpose, but you can't bring yourself to let go of the friendship for any number of reasons?
What can happen when we allow ourselves to be glutted with possessions or even friendships is that we no longer appreciate them the way we once did. We can begin taking for granted people in our lives because we haven't allowed enough time to tend to the friendship. We can have closets that are over flowing with clothing from two or three decades, but feel like we have nothing to wear.
What I want to suggest is that when we make an effort to let go of the old stuff we are creating space for new stuff! That can be belongings or people. Sometimes we simply have to step back, take a mental inventory and make some changes and even some cuts to that which we have.
Once we've started the process of cleaning out our closets, both literally and metaphorically, we create a momentum that will open us up to the newness that we so desire.
Only when we've created a void, do we make space for the very thing we are longing for. New clothing, new shoes and maybe even some new relationships!
Letting go can be easier than you think
While not a hoarder in the classical sense of the word, I certainly have been guilty of holding on to things; and people long after their shelf life has expired. I am one of those people that has a sentimental attachment to many of my belongings.
I had lucky jeans, lucky shoes, and things that I simply couldn't imagine not having in my wardrobe any more! But one day I lost a lot of what was mine. It was a robbery that took almost all of my cherished jewelry and much more. I won't try to say that was an easy situation to get over. It was not! If I were to let myself dwell for more than a few minutes I would feel the sadness all over again of losing those cherished things.
But, as time went on, I learned to cope with the loss and to get on with my life. Having lost so much made it easier for me to voluntarily let go of a lot more of my belongings a few months later. I had decided to make a big move home, but in order to do so as economically as possible I had to make some very difficult decisions about what I could afford to take, and what would have to be left behind. I did not take very much with me, but was able to sell quite a bit, and donate even more.
There have been occasions over the past several years when I recall a favorite pair of pants, or a swimsuit that I meant to keep, but seem to have given away and felt regret. But mostly it was very liberating to let that stuff go! It saved me money and it made a lot of room in my closet's and cupboards...and in my life, for more to come in!
I spent some money "starting over" and getting new things, but I also found that I had people giving me things that they no longer needed. For every item I gave away, I probably was given at least one item of value that replaced it. I had lost almost all my jewelry, but have received numerous gifts of jewelry over the years that have almost made up for it. I have not suffered the loss of the things, because in letting them go, I created room and a void that has been filled with new things.
Much like losing things, I've certainly lost my share of people. We all lose people we love throughout the course of our lives. Either through death, or just the course of your life path, people come into your life, and people go out.
We can mourn the loss of people but it's best that we keep the space where they lived in our hearts open. When we have an open space in our heart, we are much more likely to fill it with another person than if we keep that space filled with regret, sadness or anger.
Let's look closer at how we can keep the abundance flowing into our lives and minimize the pain of inevitable loss.
It's important to step back from time to time and take a mental inventory of your life. Look at the people and things in your life and ask those difficult questions. "Am I happy?" "Do I have what I want and need?" "Is this person somebody who enriches my life, or detracts from it?" "Do I have more than I need?"; "Could someone else benefit from some of my excess?"
Be honest with yourself when you answer. I found it very rewarding to not just get rid of my excess, but to donate it. When you give to others, you are creating a positive cycle that almost demands that you will be rewarded in return. It may not be a simple exchange, but you've set up a positive pattern of give and take. As you sow, so shall you reap! It really can be that simple.
It works not only for things, but for people as well. I have been dating recently. There have been three different men in my life over the past three months or so and each one has left me slightly confused. I have felt like maybe I should do something to clarify the situation as I was feeling like I was not benefitting in the way I had hoped from my friendships with these people, but also not feeling like I could do anything much about it.
In about twenty four hours, it would seem that all three of these men are no longer an option for my future in dating. I do not recall doing anything deliberately to create this situation, but it certainly did evolve in a very short time. I think in this experience, it was an unspoken angst that drove me to push the envelope with each one of them. I didn't do this consciously, but my uncertainty was creating enough discomfort that it led to me behaving in a way that would force some sort of movement.
What I did was behave honestly and put my heart on my sleeve, if you will. I tested the waters and then reacted to the results. One man behaved as though he needed to avoid me; the other one was vague and seemingly disinterested, and the last one didn't really do anything, but in being open minded I recognized that there was no future there either. At first I felt sad. I'd gone from three "prospects" to none in one or two days!
But, I've sat with this and now I don't feel sad, but that I've created a void to allow something or someone better in. By holding on to these men, as possible options, I had crowded out the room for a new man to come into my life! By letting go and moving on without them, I now have room to make new acquaintances and perhaps get closer to the kind of person that I want in my life.
Whether it be belongings or people, we need to make room for the new! Holding onto something or someone when they no longer "fit" or work for us, is to stay stuck and prevent the new from coming in!
Putting it into Practice
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare yourself for making some changes. It is not easy to let go of your precious belongings, or to let go of people whom once were important to you. But once you've taken inventory and been honest with the results, you are well on the way to making the changes.
One thing that helps me is to practice Gratitude. I can't stress this enough. The more I express my gratitude for what is good in my life, the more I will find to be grateful for. So, focus on all that is good in your life. It's a great foundation for you to fully appreciate all that you have, and I bet it's more than you might have thought at first glance.
Then you are in a prime spot to make the "cuts" where you can. Recognize that it's much like having a crowded closet, jewelry cabinet, or DVD storage. If there is no room, then you can't have anything new! But, make some room and suddenly the new stuff will find it's way in.
It can be so rewarding to have a yard sale, or take your belongings to a consignment shop to give away, or to use toward the purchase of something new for yourself. You are giving and filling someone else's need, and at the same time, you are making room for newness for yourself too!
With people, you have evaluated that a relationship is no longer serving you; or maybe it never did. Maybe it's a platonic friendship; a lover or a family member. Recognizing that this is a "dead end" is the first step, then extricating yourself is much easier. You don't have to necessarily even tell the other person of your intentions, as much as changing your behavior. In my case with the aforementioned three men, I simply have changed my behavior toward them. I haven't been mean, or made any declarations. I have simply stepped back and stopped engaging. I will continue to be friendly, but no longer have any room in my life for them. I choose to let them go in order to make room for new people that may have more to contribute to my life.
This is not about kissing people off and telling them to get lost! In some cases, that might be necessary, but mostly it's about recognizing when you are no longer benefitting from a relationship.
It is very liberating to make changes. It is also very scary! But, all the good stuff we want in life is on the other side of that fear. Don't let your fear of change keep you stuck and always longing for something or someone more! Be brave and take a step today to let something go. Know that you won't even miss it for long, because you will have opened the door to have it's place filled. There is an abundance to be had and it's yours for the taking. Will you make some room for it?