Why should you move on from the past?
We’ve all heard that we can’t be stuck in the past, that we must move on with our lives, but have you ever stopped to think about it?
Why should you move on from the past?
Well, frankly, because it can affect so many aspects of your life if you don’t.
This seems to be what everyone is saying. We need to let go.
Well with that said – I for one find it still hard some days.
I am a work in progress, each time, some things do get easier but other things remain a challenge.
As a traditional Feng Shui practitioner, I am often talking about space for energy to move in our homes – no it is not a typical Feng Shui point – decluttering – but I have never liked that word anyway.
Letting go of what no longer serves us in our homes is more my theme and one that I have tried to be sure I walk the walk with on this occasion.
I learnt on the weekend some new ways that my focusing on my past can be conflicting for me. I am not talking about sharing our stories or reliving our memories that tell a story of who we are and the joy that we have had in our world. I am talking about things.
Yes things – things from our past that we store away.
This is a story about just that.
Things that take space in our homes that we never see, open or use.
For nearly two years now we have been living in our “Nanny Flat” and loving it.
We never really cleared out “The Big House” as our daughter and her family moved in while they built their new home.
No one could have planned for the delays over the last two years, and it has been such a joy having them staying with us, and it is now time for them to move out and for us to rent the house.
I had planned a period of months between these two events so that I could take my time and empty the house, though the universe had other ideas. It was almost overnight they were moving out and a new family is moving in, and I was trying to get out at the same time.
My little nightmare of letting go of things began.
Things from our past, I struggled, yes struggled hugely with on the weekend to do something with.
For many of us we never think to devote time to thinking about how focusing on the past things can be a trigger.
I am going to share with you, hopefully, all the things that I discovered and why I want to persuade you to stop letting past things dictate to us, remembering if they do – its okay – you will work through it and it will happen.
What’s so bad about focusing on things from our past?
Focusing heavily on the past, whether in a negative or a positive way, we know can be unhelpful for us.
Holding on to things is really holding onto the moment they are attached to in the past.
I can tell you that the things I found on the weekend did just that, I found things from:
- Memoires of my Kids growing up – when I say this, it was from before birth to now.
- Memoires of my Grandparents – this was both my Mum and Dad’s and Robs family
- Memories of Dad
- Memories of my sisters and brother and all their kids
- Memories of moments with my Mum
- Gifts from friends that have departed or that I am now no longer connected to
- Moments with Rob, anniversaries, holidays, just moments of joy.
- And so much more.
Now before I started, I thought I had covered myself with a good plan.
My plan consisted of:
- A good friend of mine who had offered to help
- My daughter who is awesome at reducing things and making things organized.
Tools of the trade including
- Boxes, tapes, labels, bags and wrapping.
- A house full of grandkids – this may have been a distraction tactic that my subconscious decided on prior to the task at hand, as in no way was this going to make it easier.
- Plenty of time to get it done.
The First Boxes.
This stated so well.
I was working quickly through the kitchen and the wall units.
It was me placing on the table my friend wrapping and my daughter giving inspiration as she does.
One room all the cupboards done.
A few moments of – throw this, throw that form the gallery and I did get rid of plenty of things but could probably have done more, time was getting away on us. I was starting to feel a little stressed, but we soldiered on.
I was taking so much time sharing the story of each piece that I brought to be wrapped.
- Where it was from
- When did I get it?
- Why I bought it or was given it
- Why I was not letting it go
- All about the events from each piece.
As I said before, focusing on something in the past can manipulate how you view present moments. It can make you distracted during events you’d otherwise be fully immersed.
Yap true – so true I was so distracted sharing my stories.
The thing for me was they brought forward wonderful memories.
I motored through the rest of the kitchen, until the recipe books, again these had such great stories attached to them I had to share.
I sidetracked and took all the photos of the wall which was less distracting – odd I know.
I was not prepared for the next one.
Next came the linen cupboard, this was a cupboard that contained so much for me.
Let’s face it when we go through a box with the little shirts our kids all wore how wonderful do, we feel. How exciting is it to remember the time and what they were doing?
Going through our home this weekend with our move I found so many of the kid’s things.
This is how that moment went for me:
- Yes, there was such joy in finding them, remembering the moments, and sharing with those with me that day.
Next came the sinking feeling inside of me – what now.
- I was sure my boys would not want any of it.
- My daughter who was there took a few things and she let the rest go.
- My friend with me was – “No one is going to want it, just throw it out”
Triggered hell – you bet – yes.
I found all the little knitted jackets and jumpers from my grand mothers and my mum. These were things, I as a child had worn. Just holding them brought such memories – oh wait was it all memories. Could I remember wearing this jacket as a baby – no – your right – no I could not. It was the feeling of my grandmother with me, you know that warm coat on a cold night, snugged up and cozy.
It was the feeling I was struggling to let go of.
There were tears (well inside many tears a few on the outside) these garments were made with love.
I struggle with
- What was I going to do with them?
- Who on earth would want them now, babies today do not wear them, no mum of today was going to spend time washing in "lux" and drying them laid out, so they don’t stretch? And I get that – as a mum today life is busy for them.
- I could unravel all the wool and make something else with it.
- I could stitch them to another blanket – hmm no -probably will not do that either
So, they are in the storage shed waiting on a fantastic idea on how to preserve them.
Waiting for another day to work through that one.
How do you stop focusing on the past?
The first step in putting an end to this behavior once and for all is to resolve to let it go.
Yeap sure that is what all the good books tell us. This is not always that easy.
WHY I was struggling to let go so much was that they had a connection.
I knew the story.
It was not about the memory for me – it was the feeling.
There was no negativity to anything I was holding onto here at all.
It was all about something that was love:
- Made with love
- Given in love
- Shared in love
- Being loved.
I knew this was not going to be easy for me. Not when everything I was touching was telling me stories about love and connecting.
My daughter was wonderful – “You do you love, don’t let anyone tell you any different. If you need more time, you need more time. Pack it up and tackle that box next time. Let go of what you can”.
Some things I discovered that made it easier for me.
We all know, it’s easier said than done, but you must first consciously decide to do it before you can successfully let go.
We have all heard the one question to ask yourself is “What happens when I am gone, who wants these items then?”
What meaning do they have to others in your life?
So, I packed all the boys’ things into a box, gave them to their partners and told them to keep what they love and let go of what it not.
No point in me holding things for another 30 years filling my storage space and no one wanting it when I am gone.
Letting go of the feelings and moments you’re holding onto will allow you to finally move forward with your life and grow as a person, apparently. I know it will, in time, a few days, I am still just a little raw with it all today.
The Questions I asked myself:
- Do I love it
- Do I use it
- Is it necessary to keep it
A great book to read (from Margareta Magnusson)
I realized a few very strong points that I will leave you with:
- If you ask a friend, be prepared for them to not have the same attachment as you have. You accepted their offer of help. You now realize that they are so much better at letting go than you are. You cannot become annoyed with them for that. They are them; you are you, and you need to be thankful for friends who want to even step into the “letting go” realm with you as so many would want to pretend, they never even heard you say you were packing things up. These are the friends you want in your corner.
- You need space to have you boxes in a row and allow things to overflow and sit to the side until you are ready to make the decision if they stay or go.
- You need time to share and tell your stories of the pieces you are holding. Oh, and you need someone who will sit and listen to those stories – AKA the friend above we spoke about.
- Its okay to tell friends who offer to help that you have it covered. I find it easier to work my way through the process with a small group of people than a large group getting it done quickly. I get over excited and feel like I am on a roller coaster emotionally and at the end of the day I just want to puke. There is always the cleaning day if they are great cleaners or in my case the great massage friend.
- I am an emotional person and I need time to work through this process. Its okay.
- Having the right people around me means that I can cry those tears and say, “I just cannot let this one go right now” and it is okay. Just like my daughter in law and my grandmother’s piano that yes is still sitting in the lounge room with no where to go right now. The hug will make all the difference.
- The kids will probably tell you to just throw everything, they do not want it but there will always be one who wants you to store it until you go (as in depart the earth) so they can come home, open those boxes and sit around telling anyone who will listen their connection to everything in the box, feel the love they have from holding those items as well. Yeah, I have one of those.
- That I have moved less into storage this time than ever before and the new house we are about to build has less storage and space so that I only hold that which brings love to my soul. I also know those that follow me in time will hold those same pieces and know that it is all about love.
Love to you if you are clearing and letting go.
Happy Feng Shui ing