Letting go is often one of the hardest things we can do. But, letting go allows us to simplify, to reduce stress, and anxiety. To move on.
My mom and I had a yard sale a few years ago. As we were setting up she asked “Do you want your doll furniture?”
“You still have that?” My first thought was that she was referring to a doll house and furniture she’d bought me as an adult (I’d always wanted to build a dollhouse – and never did end up building it). Then she clarified and showed me what she was referring to.
This was MY doll furniture, all solid wood, very high quality stuff that she’d bought me when I was little. I think the husband of a friend of hers made it and gave her a great deal on the pieces. There was a bed and a high chair for baby dolls, and then a full kitchen and picnic set for Barbie sized dolls.
I’d forgotten about these pieces, and it was rather sentimental to see them again. Since I’m not have children, it seems silly to hang onto them, but at the same time I think we both feel a bit attached and have a really hard time just letting them items go. We did put them in the yard sale, but we weren’t willing to sell them at yard sale prices so only the bed sold. She wouldn’t even put the high chair out there.
A bit ago I got an email from her asking about the pictures I’d taken of the items so she could list them online and there was a comment from her:
“Somehow, I keep putting it off..it’s like I’m giving up the last of your childhood. :(“
That comment got me to thinking about all the things in life that we have a hard time giving up, even when there is no valid reason to hang onto them. While the doll furniture doesn’t do anything negative except get in the way, most things we hang onto often result in negative consequences.
Too often, when we live with chronic illness, we try to hang onto everything “normal” in our lives. We try to hang onto everything that came before the illness, because somewhere in the back of our minds we feel like if we can hang onto those reminders, one day that life will return to us.
For some this results in a life of hoarding all things related to our old life. For others, it just means that we hang onto a few small things that sit in a corner and collect dust.
But, we hang onto more than stuff.
We also hold onto people, relationships, and situations that are no longer healthy for us (or perhaps never were).
We feel that letting go of those things would be letting go of who we are, and accepting our new life, a life we don’t really want.There are so many things in life that we are simply afraid to let go of.
Of course, it’s not until we can accept ourselves and our lives as they are that we can move forward, that we can heal and grow and learn to live our lives as they are.