Lose Your Stuff And Find Yourself

I really didn’t have a game plan, I just knew that getting rid of things made me feel better. Over time, letting go of the clothes, household goods, personal items, relationships and commitments that didn’t “add value to my life,” to quote The Minimalists (https://www.theminimalists.com/), allowed me to focus on what was beneath it all!

At first it was a little overwhelming. Without all of the distractions, I had no choice but to examine myself.

I’ve always felt like a square peg in a round hole and rather than get to know and embrace who I was, I found it easier to fulfill the various roles that I held: daughter, sister, friend, student, wife, mother, teacher. There was some sense of comfort in knowing what each role required and carrying out my “duties” to perfection.

But perfection isn’t ever attainable. I found that I was constantly concerned that I wasn’t meeting my high standards (or my assumptions of what others’ expected)  and exhausted for continually trying. I felt inauthentic. 

This time was different. I had simplified my life to the point of having fewer distractions and in grieving the loss of my dad realized that, while roles are fleeting and can disappear at any moment, who we are at our core is constant.

This time, I decided to remain focused on my simplicity journey and myself. I let go of the need to be in control, the expectations of others and the all or nothing attitude. These things hadn’t served me well, in fact, they depleted me.

I’ve shed many of my old habits and replaced them with what makes me feel balanced and happy (close relationships, meditation, nature, to name a few). I’ve written about them and my self-care routine in earlier essays if you want to read about them in more detail.  

I bring who I am to every relationship, rather than what I think any role might dictate.

Being authentic and following my heart is surprisingly easy. Simplifying me has made things less complicated, more carefree and lighter. I’m happier and able to focus my time and energy on what’s really important and meaningful to me and those that I love.

Who knew that losing my stuff would lead to finding myself?

Lose Your Stuff And Find Yourself

In the moment with Ellie!

Thanks so much for reading! Writing is something that I really enjoy doing. It helps me sort things out, in a way, and I hope that by sharing my personal journey I can help someone else or make even one person feel less alone. Please share if you’ve connected with my message and/or if you think someone else might. Thank you! xox

Jeanne

 

 

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Silver and Gold

“Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”

My mom used to sing this to me as a child when I would go crying to her with friendship troubles. Be it hurt feelings, confusion, not sure where I fit in, feeling left out, jealousy, or a variety of other emotions, my mom usually had the same advice:

“Keep the peace, keep the relationship.”

Since we were changing so quickly, getting our emotional bearings, and our lives with our friends were so intertwined on a day-to-day basis when we were kids, I could see her point.

As adults, we may be experiencing some major changes in our lives. A new job, divorce, marriage, grief, an empty nest, a big move or retirement may spark a personal journey inward.

Perhaps you are on a journey to slow things down, be more present, and discover (or uncover) your authentic self. An unexpected result of living with “wholehearted authenticity” (Brene Browne), presence and simplicity may be a shift in our relationships.  They may fizzle out or crash and burn, or some may even deepen. You may also find that you are making some new connections as the result of the new you!

For those relationships that aren’t working for us anymore, it’s difficult to follow my mom’s advice and continue to maintain them on some level. We have a finite amount of time, we don’t live close to many of our friends and we’re trying to simplify our lives, not complicate them. But it may also be difficult to let them go.

If you’re having difficulty letting go, these 6 things may help:

  • Know that if it isn’t working for you, chances are that it isn’t working for the other person. As we grow and change, so do our relationships.
  • Refrain from trying to find fault and blame to make a case that it’s not working, just let it go.
  • Be honest, loving and compassionate with the other person, and yourself.
  • Forgive. This may take time, but forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.
  • Know that you did the best you could while in the relationship. No one is perfect.
  • Moving on does not constitute a failure. Be grateful for all that you have learned from the relationship.

I just finished reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, and his words have helped me develop a sense of freedom in my personal relationships. I highly recommend his book!

Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements:

    1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
    2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
    3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
    4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

I hope this helps you create a sense of freedom in your relationships and it gives you the courage to continue to do what feels right and to release that which doesn’t quench your soul.

Peace, Love and Presence,

Jeanne