- Mental Health»
- Stress Management
Year Of The Purge
As we grow in life, if it be season to season or life event to life event we as people adapt to our surroundings. Some of us like to hold on to things we don't really need like your favorite pair of gym shorts from 5th grade or the retainer you don't use anymore. We also justify it with reasons based on a sentimental standpoint anchoring emotions feelings and memories into it. We also hold on to old feelings like grudges, old friends that we don't really talk to or we force ourselves to interact with because we feel bad or maybe a relationship that has gone stale. We make decisions to carry around this excess baggage with us as we move from stage to stage in our lives.
Imagine 4 big suitcases, like the type you have to check for your flight and weigh it to make sure it's not over 50 pounds but you know that you can totally pack in twice as much than what's currently in that bag. Now imagine you have to carry all four of these bags around with you. Let's take it another level and instead of at the airport let's put you in a train car. Each train car can represent a new phase in your life and every time you pass through those narrow doors there's a new bag there for you to pick up which can either be in addition to the four bags you already have or you can choose to put a bag or two down, or all of them down.
Check Your Bags
One of the pleasures of traveling is you typically don't have to lug your things around with you, right? You can walk up to the ticket counter and have that guy with a cart come and take your bags off your hands (for a nominal fee of course) and you can lighten your load for the period of time during your travels. While you transition from one town or city to the other your things are still with you but it's not on your hands for that period of time. But what happens when you get there? Those bags you forgot about come out from under the plane or train and back on your hands they go. You got a temporary reprieve from that heavy load. We will call that the transitional euphoric moment, that's where we forget all about our troubles and stress and just focus on that new growth, that new step.
I've moved and lived all over the country, everywhere from Hawaii to Florida to New York to Minnesota. One major rule that I've learned is to pack light, only take what you absolutely need. You're probably thinking "Mike, what the hell are you talking about? Airports and train cars and luggage?" So let's double back really quick and I want you to keep everything you just read in mind.
As we go through life it's not just one big smooth path. It's broken up into stages or sections similar to a train. All connected, but all independent. The luggage we travel with is our thoughts, memories, our inner circles, our goals, our failures. In those bags is the sum of who we are. Some of us bring the entire closet with us for an overnight trip and some of us just have a backpack. But why?
Do You Feel Holding On To Past Feelings Impacts Your Future?
Simplify to what's important
What do we really need? What's the absolutely necessary things we can't live without? Toothbrush? Pair of good jeans? I for one am saying clean underwear.. So let's flip it back over to the mental side of this. Goals? Yes. Small inner circle of people who share your drive? Absolutely. Knowledge from your past? Would be crazy not to. Regret? Self pity? Negative friends? Stagnant job? Nope! It's dead weight, it's things that won't assist you in moving forward. So why pack it? Why drag it along? Why not just let it go?
The act of purging if it's not something you regularly do can be quite daunting. It can be overwhelming, challenging, frustrating. What do I keep? What's important? So to make things easier I made a simple questionnaire and if all the answers are yes it goes with you and if even one of the answers are a no, it gets left behind.
Ask yourself, does this (person, thought, grudge, idea, feeling, item) assist me in reaching my goals?
Is this something that will benefit my future?
Does this make me happy?
If the answer to all three is yes, in the bag it goes!
If the answer to any of these questions is no, it's best to not take it with you.
Look at yourself as the main objective, your health and mental wellbeing is priority number one. When we hold on to those negative feelings, toxic people, stagnant traits and experiences, that excess, that clutter, as harmless as one or two things may seem, when built up, can be hazardous to your health. Consider it emotional hoarding.
As human we have been purging for years
To be able to move to new levels in life and to become the best us we can be we need to pack light, stay alert, react to new opportunities as they arise and move quickly. Write down an honest list of the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that weigh you down. We need to evolve as we have done for thousands of years, we no longer have tails and full body hair, why? Because it doesn't benefit us anymore. So reflect on each item and identify the source of the thought or belief and do your best to find at least one positive in each hurtful experience. Reduce that load from mental anguish or "emotional baggage" and change it to a positive learning experience for a new stage of life. Allow yourself to do what is natural, shed the extra weight but be patient with yourself. Be mindful that this wlll take time to sort through all of the bags you have been carrying around with you . When you do you are one step closer to allowing yourself to be legendary.