“Close the door on the past…Don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

The Happiness ProjectI recently read the book The Happiness Project, a book about a woman who spent a year figuring out what makes people happy and then putting it into practice. You can read an interview with the author here (Gretchen Rubin: The Happiness Project).

It mentions de-cluttering your home. Rubin discovered that cleaning up is not just about organizing, but breaking out the trash bags and the recycling bins. Yes, you have to throw things away. What do you throw away? Anything you don’t use. That includes:

– clothes that don’t fit (no matter how much weight you think you’ll lose);

– appliances that don’t work (no matter when your husband says he’ll fix them);

– old toys;

– old food;

– the ridiculous surplus of empty hangers in your closet…

The list goes on. I didn’t think this was a big deal until I did it myself. I had trouble with my keepsakes. See, I used to have a sweet little box to keep trinkets of memories. That little box has turned into a giant storage bin. It’s messy, a pain to move and takes up too much space.

You see, that’s what happens when we hold on the past for too long. It starts to interfere with the present.

All the stuff you keep speaks volumes to you; it weighs you down. For example, the closet full of clothes that used to fit yesterday can make you feel bad about yourself today. Every morning you have to dig through jeans and shorts that remind you of how thin you used to be. Is that really necessary? Why do that to yourself?

Now, I’m not saying to live like a minimalist with no sentimental value. We’re human beings after all. But we need to give our energy and our space to this present moment. Right now is where you’re making new memories. Right now is the only thing you can control. Right now is all you truly have. Anything else is just a box of old stuff that you can’t use any more.

If you have trouble letting go of the past, may I suggest a good house cleaning? Just go through and get rid of everything you don’t need. When you can let go of the physical burdens, the emotional and spiritual ones are soon to follow.

Read More:
Feng Shui Your Way to Love
The Spiritual Lessons of Clearing My Clutter
Spring Clean Your Home and Mind

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