Here’s your prompt. This Challenge will hold space for you to shed and prep and prime for a miraculous, expansive 2018. But here’s something to sit with (and write about), as we get started:
What things that (a) belong to someone else and (b) no longer serve you are you allowing to inhabit:
- Your physical space
- Your head space, or
- Your heart space?
Are you holding on to someone else’s belongings?
Someone else’s fears? Someone’s limited beliefs about what is possible, in the world or for you specifically?
Someone else’s words that you heard as a child?
Are you holding onto worries about another grown-up person’s actions and the consequences in their own life? Can you envision letting them worry about themselves?
What is it? Whose are they? Most importantly, are you ready to give them up? What will that look like? And what are you prepared to do in commitment to yourself, if others push back when you release what doesn’t belong to or serve you?
I am one of those people who continually purge. I do not like to hold on to things unless that have purpose or true sentimental value. I recently donated my book collection, which was the last thing I was really holding on to. I have a few left to read, and as I finish them, I just pass them along. I still have to finish going through the storage shed, but I hope to conquer that when spring comes and it is a little warmer.
When my mother passed away, we went through everything within a week of her death. We distributed her belongings and pictures and donated everything that no one claimed. I know they recommend waiting, but it wasn’t needed. Two years have almost passed, and I haven’t looked for a thing or regretted the decision.
As my youngest daughter moved out a few months back, we took the opportunity to clean out closets and areas that were still holding things that belonged to our children. I know my daughter took it personal that as she moved out we were ridding home of things that had been collecting dust for at least two years. It wasn’t, the timing just worked. I know there is also a trunk in the garage that holds treasures from when I was a child and from when my children were growing up. I need to just give it to them, but I want my children to treasure those things like I did for them when I put it away. But this year may be the year I give up that idea too and let them do with the things what they like.
This year I have spent the year realizing that I have allowed many thoughts of the past, labels that I have taken on, and lies of the enemy to my soul take up residence in my head. These thoughts have been playing on repeat at a volume that often drowns out everything else. Thoughts that have taken up space, that was never meant to be occupied by them.
I have listened to thoughts of past failures, as if they define my current status. I have heard the insecurities scream out, drowning out the strengths that usually dominate my life. I have spoken the labels over myself that I would generally not allow someone else to speak over me or themselves without a challenge to the label. I have taken the lies of the enemy and allowed him to run them through my head without so much as a roadblock for so long that I no longer recognized them as lies.
I wish I could say that identifying those thoughts has made me evict them from the space they occupy. Some days I am able to stop the thoughts and replace them with the Word of Truth. Those days are victories. There are still many days where I allow these thought to occupy too much time and space. I am ready to give these thoughts up and allow myself the grace to walk out their final evictions.
I have lived most of my life in denial of my emotions, except anger. As a young child my emotions were mostly ignored. A benefit of this, is that I generally do not take on other’s emotions. However, as an adult, I am realizing the amount of personal baggage that I carry from not processing those emotions along the way. I have spent the past three years trying to uncover the emotional baggage that I have and free myself from it. Realizing that much of the things I believe as an adult came from false information perceived by my childhood self. Emotional baggage that no one helped me unpack.
As I learn to release emotions in the moment, truly allowing myself to feel whatever I am feeling, I find freedom that I have not experienced before. It still takes a lot of down time to let myself process what I am feeling. Every now and then I find myself allowing things to just come out without need of processing. I can identify the emotion and what is behind in and just be in that moment.
I am still letting go of old feelings and each day I become more open to letting go. Letting go of feelings that have been hidden behind walls that I didn’t know existed. Feelings that have been buried for fear of rejection, shame, or judgement are being dug up, addressed and thrown into the let it go pile. Sometimes feelings unpack when I least expect it. Feelings get triggered by a comment from something I am reading or talking to. I have been taken aback when feelings surface in a connection of soul as I am helping someone else. I find that it is hard for those who know me well to deal with the emotions that I usually hide. Not that they don’t try to support, it just throws them off guard as the emotional side is rarely something I have shared. I am realizing though that I can not be true to the work inside of me and be who others expect me to be.
I know there is probably more “stuff” that I am allowing to inhabit me. I realized some time ago that I have to deal with the stuff in front of me first. If I try to change everything at once, I will become overwhelmed and remain frozen in fear, or worse run in the other direction. I find that it is better to fight the fear of letting go of the stuff in my life, one piece at a time. Each piece I release, brings me one step closer to being at peace with the person I am meant to be.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.