I’m anxiously waiting for my friend, Nancy, to come over sometime next week so that we can dig deep into my overloaded closet to start pitching. An old Oprah show was playing on satellite radio this past week about cleaning up our closets using the following three questions:
- Do you love it?
- Does it flatter you?
- Is it the image you’d like to portray?
Their guest speaker had suggested the use of honest friend(s) to help you overcome the difficult decisions of sentimentality or holding onto items that just didn’t fit you anymore – in size, age or image.
Though I share with my husband, I have a giant closet. It’s always been my goal to be able to keep all seasons in one place. Moving in here 2 years ago, I had lots of room with every intention of tossing one item for every new one I’d introduce. The overflow and disorder would suggest that I didn’t hold to that intention very well! So, I’m counting on Nancy to keep me honest so I can find some breathing room!
Thinking of this, I wondered if this isn’t what I’m doing in the transformation of my life right now as well. I have one child in college, another to follow in a year and a half. The closet of my life, so to speak, has collected activities and regimines that, while useful at the time, are no longer always serving me well. In the recent past, I’d noted that it had been overflowed so that many days, I felt busy without a lot of purpose or meaning in my life. I’d acquired relationships that no longer fit my new thinking. I was sentimental in thinking of some activities or friends, allowing my memories of what we’d experienced together or how it had added to my life to cloud my thought process of how it served me now.
I’ve always found the quote “Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” Can’t we also expand that into all the activities and endeavors of our life? This statement takes the negative judgement away from the friend or activity. The choices we make in friendships and activities have meaning and purpose for certain times in our lives, yet we need to learn to clean our closets and decide if it’s time to let go. That it no longer serves any purpose in our life. That you’re holding on because of old memories or not wanting to hurt feelings. Perhaps your heart needs to venture beyond the concrete path or the one you’d always envisioned for yourself.
This letting go, which is the meaning of the cross to me, continually dying to ourselves, our willful need to hold onto choices that don’t serve us, is HARD. I’m in the process of it right now. I’ve gathered my friends, mentors and therapist – even acquiring new ones that recognize my vision – to help me. It’s a lonely time, sometimes making me feel lost in the woods after having ventured far from The Path. But that’s the great thing about bringing others to help you. They can skip through all that emotional jumble in your head and give you honest feedback and support. They can also help you to be more gentle with yourself, be your dressing room mirror, giving you the chance to see your reflection from their view.
So….take a look around the closet of your life:
Do you LOVE it?
Is it flattering? (Flattering in the way that what we “wear” makes us SHINE)
Is it the image you want to portray? (Does this help you on your path?)
And I’d still remember that what’s good today may not be tomorrow. We may make mistakes. But it’s all fodder for learning. It’s there for a reason, a season or a lifetime.