I was in 4th grade, when my toys started to lose their appeal. One day I came home from school and for whatever reason I decided to play with my toys only to discover they were gone. I searched the house frantically, an entire tub of toys doesn’t just disappear. But sadly it was to no avail. The toys were nowhere to be found.
I asked my mother frantically where my toys were and she told me she had given them to good-will so needy children could have them. Those were my toys I protested, “that you didn’t play with” was her response.
She was right, I was bored with the toys and had outgrown them. I rarely played with them but was attached to them nonetheless. Whether it be out of convenience, fear, length of association, or ease; we humans tend to cling to things that no longer serve a purpose in our lives. We are creatures of habit and love the familiar.
The more self aware amongst us can realize when its time to let go. However there are others who have to have things ripped from their lives to realize it was time for a change. I’m relatively self aware and its still challenging for me to let go of things.
One particular challenge we face, my personal weakness, is being in love with the memory of something rather than with how the thing itself is in the present. My younger self was in love with the memories he had playing with his toys and the amazing adventures he had with them using his imagination. The day they were taken away he was bored with act of playing with them. His memory was all he really needed, not the things in order to be happy.
The past is the past and its not coming back. We need to live in the present and be mindful. So I’m challenging you and myself to clear out the clutter and make room for the new. Let go of whatever is no longer meaningful. Not just physical objects but places, jobs, relationships, etc.
This is not an easy task but I have never gone wrong by letting go of something that lost its purpose and meaning. Alen Cohen said it best: “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
Don’t be afraid to let go.