Monday, November 2, 2015

Spring Cleaning

How often have you moved in recent years? Did you learn something after your move, or was it simply a stressful and frustrating experience, and nothing else?

Over the last past three years, I have moved to three different countries. On most of these occasions I just felt overwhelmed and full of resentment towards all this stuff. I rushed to have everything in the right places, just leaving unopened boxes in the basement and closets in order  to get it done quickly. I also had helpers assisting me with the move and unpacking. Every time I moved I was full of resentment towards all the mess. I was somehow not able to function until all things seemed to be in their right places. To my surprise, I didn’t feel that my move was getting any easier after having moved so much. To the contrary, every year I was surprised to find that after so many moves I still had so much junk with me.  Dealing with this junk is apparently really a headache for me.

Then one day one realization came to me.  Isn’t this situation very similar to our emotional baggage? Yes, I still carry unpleasant emotional memories with me. It is hard to look at these emotional memories that no longer serve us.  However, if we take painful encounters as an opportunity to look deeply at what is hidden inside, it is in our power to let go of them just as unwanted furniture and stuff.

As a matter of fact, for all of my material junk, the only way to tackle it is to look at one item at a time in order to separate the good from the bad. If you leave stuff in boxes unopened, or if you outsource this decision to others, the unwanted stuff will follow you around. It is by no means easy to make this decision. Sometimes I feel a little hesitant about throwing stuff, but then it will follow me on my next move. At this moment I finally understood that the only way to make my life easier is to look at everything once and then decide what to keep and what to throw away.

How are you doing with your emotional junk?  How high can we fly if we keep carrying these things with us that no longer serve us? It is time to do our spring cleaning, mentally, physically, and for all our material things. Take the plunge with me; don't wait until life forces you to clean up.  May we all have an easy, light, and joyful journey ahead.

By Su Zhen 

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