Your probably thinking that is an odd title for a blog that talks about emotions, so let me explain. I spent some time driving through towns this weekend while visiting family, grad parties, seeing friends and church this morning. It seemed that on almost every other block was a sign for a garage sale. Lawns were sprinkled with so much stuff. Just from my driving by I could see items ranging from televisions, exercise equipment, clothes, and toys. I had the same reaction every time I passed by a sign or a sale. I thought “they just put their stuff out there for people to see and hopefully take away”. It only took passing about 20 signs before I finally go it! Still sound like a silly title for a blog? I don’t think so.
Let’s start with why people have garage sales. They have accumulated too much stuff; cleaning house; outgrown certain items; items are no longer needed; those things are no longer necessary to make them happy. See where this is going now? What would our lawns look like if we had a garage sale for our emotions? I’m not sure I have a big enough lawn! I think I would start off with different colored blankets to separate things out. At this point in my journey I would need about four sections. The first would be for all of those emotions that caused me to be unsure about my choices and decisions during my divorce. Next, I’d fill one up with any regrets or fears that I have carried with me through the process. One for feelings of doubt and insecurity. Lastly, pain and suffering.
I know that all sounds pretty scary. Putting yourself out in the open like that. Think about it though, you can really tell a lot about a person by what they are selling at their garage sale. We’ve all done it. Just walking around and looking at the stuff on their lawns tells a lot about that person. Most of us have had a sale in the past. Think back and remember how good you felt when you were able to get rid of those things that you no longer needed. There are many benefits. Our homes are clutter free and our closets have room for something new. All of that brings us to a level of happiness, especially the extra cash in the pocket perk. Our heart is the home for our emotions. It too needs a good cleaning in order to move forward freely.
So, if we are not afraid to literally air our old belongings on our lawns and actually sell them to people, why are we afraid to let other’s see our emotions? Here’s a funny little story. When I first started my divorce I began seeing a counselor. I sat across from him, arms crossed and did everything in my power NOT to let him in. There was no way I was going to let him make me cry! I was afraid for some reason to let him see my true emotions, yet I still wanted his help. When we are in despair, we tend to close ourselves down. It makes us feel like we are in control, when in reality we are not.
I’ve had to deal with something this past week and it has made me realize that I need to let the non-important things go. It has also reminded me of how easy it is to shut your emotions down. I’m dealing with something potentially serious and I have not really taken the time to let it sink in, emotionally. I decided it was because I didn’t have room left to deal with this new emotion. It is time to let some of the old emotions go.
Now here’s the real difference between the garage sale and emotion sale. We don’t really want other’s to come and purchase the crap we are letting go of emotionally. But we can have a sale in our minds. If you are a visual person then get some construction paper and write out the feelings and emotions you are putting on your lawn. Make the decision to spring clean your feelings. Figure out which ones you are done with and let them go.
I put mine on my lawn this afternoon. I no longer need to worry about them anymore so I can focus on the now. I may have a bumpy road ahead and I need to give it my full attention. Even if I didn’t have this new event in my life, being free of those emotions will make more room for all of the new experiences that are yet to come.
Now it’s your turn. Take some inventory of your emotions and let go of those that you no longer need, so that you have room for the newer happier moments.
I invite you to share how you have moved past a difficult emotion. Respond in the comments.