Usually cleaning occurs during springtime, but I have recently been tasked with the decluttering of my auntie’s house. My family moved in with her back when I was nine years old, and fast forward nearly 40 years – a lot has accumulated.
At first taking on a task of decluttering is daunting, and it literally took my breath away when I realized how much I had to do. However, like anything in life you take little baby steps, which in this case is a crawl, but once you build some momentum you can start walking and eventually running. The one thing I learned was to find and ask for assistance especially when you want to declutter something that is not easy; this also applies to your health and well-being.
What I have discovered through this decluttering process is that there are a lot of emotional attachments with the things we keep. In actuality, we don’t need as much as we think we do. Of course, it’s important to stock up on the essentials such as bottled water, toiletries, rice, canned goods, and the like, but truly what do we really need?
The same thing applies to our bodies. The tendency is to hold on to the good memories along with all the challenging and traumatic ones. We create a story of how things are and that becomes our reality. If certain things that we hear, or are told, doesn’t match our story or reality, we discard it. However, this is where the rub is. All the past perceived traumatic experiences condition our behavior, whereupon we react to situations that resemble the past traumatic energies instead of seeing the choices we have on what we want to do at that given moment. We go on autopilot and do this out of self-preservation. Until you become aware that you are knee-jerk reacting to situations, you will continue to operate and behave the same.
The first step in modifying an ingrained behavior is to have a sincere desire of wanting to experience your life in a new way. Even if you think you want a change, your desire is necessary for you to make a shift.
The second step is to become aware of when you are reacting to a situation. In the beginning, it will be hard to catch yourself and you will just react in the way you normally do. My suggestion is to be kinder to yourself and remind yourself that you are building a new muscle in being aware of being triggered and starting to react.
Once you can sense your triggers, you will be more prepared and able to choose how you want to respond. Ultimately you have the power to choose how you want to react and be in every situation. It’s like making an omelet, you will have to crack a few eggs to get better at it.
Another way to let go of past traumas is to look for the silver lining of those experiences and to list out how it benefited you. Many times, when there is a traumatic experience that creates PTSD symptoms such as anxiety, a racing heartbeat, and irrational thoughts, we can only see how we suffered versus seeing how we benefited.
Of course traumatic experiences such as betrayal, being abandoned, or physical and/or emotional abuse, can be difficult in the beginning to admit how those hurtful experiences served us in a positive way. However, through working with many practice members over the past 23 year, the ones who were able to see how the past traumatic events benefited them, as much as they suffered from it, found a way to bring those experiences into balance and become whole once more.
Like decluttering your house and external environment, you can do the same for your internal environment. List out the ways those past traumas helped build your ability to stand up for yourself, become more discerning with future relationships, know when to hold your boundaries, and ultimately, allow you to search for ways to empower yourself and choose YOU!
You have the power to let go of anything that no longer serves you, and moving into a state of gratitude and appreciation will help you declutter not only the emotional baggage, but mental, physical, and spiritual as well. Good luck!