Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Cleaning Out Closets
Though I am a deep thinker, my mind is quite simplistic. This week, I had a revelation. It is regarding relationships, healthy and unhealthy ones, along with an uncanny similarity to them and the clothes/items in my closet.
My closet is a cluttered mess. There are things in there that I have not used in years and even things I do not like. Yet, I keep them securely nestled in an area I visit daily. Why?
I suppose there is some emotional attachment. Some things may hold memories to places I went because I wore them on the day I visited. Others may have had a larger price tag and I feel I am throwing away good money. Some things “once fit” and I think they may fit again one day. Then, there are things that have been in there so long they have become part of my closet in my mind.
The reality is:
Those things are doing me no good and they need to go. They have no beneficial purpose other than to take up space. Maybe emptiness is what I fear?As I feel the freedom of weeding out what I do not use or like, it allows my focus to be on the things I DO like. It is time to clean out the closet.
That same concept presented itself to me about relationships and the people I choose to be in the midst of my life. I am by no means calling a person useless or trash, but not all people need to be in my closet.
Changing the status of relationships is the same as cleaning out the closet, and it feels the same to me emotionally as well. I cling to things and people for reasons that are in the past, even though I am in the present. That can’t be good. Our taste of clothing changes, our bodies/sizes change and styles change. Some clothes are capable of surviving through all of that and get to stay in my closet. The ones that don’t fade, shrink, stretch or aren’t so trendy that they scream a time frame years later. Like black pants and skirts, the classic clothes that always have been and will always be stylish. I love those.
Incorporating this concept into relationships is a bit more difficult. Unlike clothes, people have emotions and can speak back when you decide an outgrowing has occurred or your styles no longer are compatible. That is the hard part for me. Still, I have to think what is being gained and lost due to each relationship on the front lines of my life. Who are the people getting the majority of my time and attention? Do I enjoy them or are they the pair of jeans that I once loved and are now squishing my gut to the point I cannot breathe? They may be a nice pair of jeans, but they are a better fit for someone else than me. Sometimes, what once worked simply isn’t working anymore.
As I stood in my closet, full of stuff, I felt suffocated. It is so strange to me why I put myself through this cycle on a daily basis when I have the power and ability to make the change. It is because I have grown accustomed to it and take it as “the way it is.” Well, it’s not. There isn’t a closet that does not need to be cleaned out every so often. A reevaluation needs to occur on a regular basis because change WILL happen and all of those things don’t belong in the closet from now until eternity. Sure, there are things that hold value to me, but I will most likely not wear them again. In that case, they need to be relocated and put in a container in the attic instead of maintaining residence in my closet.
I had tapped into this power soon after my divorce and decided a change needed to happen in an unusual, yet obvious place.
Sleep is important. It should be a time of peace and tranquility, not negativity and despair. As I would put clean sheets on my bed, the same ones my husband and I slept on, and then pulled up “our” comforter, it became ever so clear. My thoughts seemed to carry me to places I didn't need or want to go ... every single night. The time had arrived for new sheets, new pillows and a new comforter. Nothing was wrong with the ones I was using, except the fact that they caused me to sink into an unnecessary depression as I attempted to get a peaceful night's rest while sleeping with them. They evolved into sheets and comforter that were wrong for me. The same went for my pajamas and certain other items of clothing. Those things were the culprits behind holding me hostage, silently reminding me of the past. They went to Good Will and I went shopping.
Assessing people is really the same. It doesn’t require being mean or disrespectful to anyone, it’s just about changing the dynamics. No need to shred and burn the clothes, just get them where they need to be … which is somewhere besides my closet.
In class, I am learning to look in the mirror instead of at everyone else. I have no power to make change in anyone except me. (I’ve wasted a lot of energy and time, because I didn’t know that little detail.) The fact that a relationship is not working in a healthy way doesn’t need to be blamed on anyone; it only needs to be made healthy, which requires boundaries and change.
I may shed a tear as I move certain clothes and people from “my closet,” and I may come to a day when I miss them for a moment, but I can see the bigger picture. I will be missing what was once in the past. Things are different now. I am different. It’s time to move forward in a lot of areas. I’m just going to relate all of them to my closet … because that’s what works for me!
Breaking the chains that bind me,
Posted by Kasi M. Bryon at 12:06 PM