Decluttering is Healthy for the Soul

I have not been writing for a few years now because I have been busy. Very very busy. Busy, decluttering my life, my home, my emotions , my thoughts… You name it. And what a difference it has made! I am at a great place in my life now. I have not stopped however, because I think this is a lifelong process in which one needs to pause every now and then, take stock and then let go of what is not working for you. 


Generally, decluttering is associated with  tossing out material things to make space-like knick-knacks and junk picked up from yard sales etc, but in all seriousness, to me decluttering applies to all aspects of  one's life including people, thoughts and emotions that don't add to or enhance your life anymore.


Decluttering takes a lot of courage and the path is often painful, uncertain and scary because one is suddenly bereft of perceived lifelines  while stepping  into the unknown. Though the reward at the end is certainly worth it! One is empowered, in more ways than one with a better sense of discernment in terms of making better life choices...

In 2009, I let go of "friends" who at one point had been a great support during some of the most difficult years of my life. Relationships can also outgrow their value as I soon learned. We had all come together to support each other due to similar circumstances when our self esteem and confidence was low. However, when our individual situations improved and we each started coming into our own and following our own paths, personality differences became more obvious and more irksome.  Cliques, nastiness, backbiting, self- righteousness and on and on became quite rampant.  High school kids seemed like the picture of maturity compared to the foolishness we were all involved in.  And, yours truly was no better- there was enough blame to go around. It was then that I realized that there is a season of for everything and that this season of our friendships, once so joyous, so wonderful, so fulfilling had sadly long passed.


Anyway, since I am a creature of habit with a penchant for trying relentlessly to make dead relationships work, I kept trying to win these women's approval. I was gripped by the great underlying fear that if I lost their "support" albeit now seemingly unhealthy and smothering, I would be lost on my own as a single Indian woman who was also a single parent here in the US - a home away from home.  However, life or the Universe has a way of forcing change  when you don't have the sense or courage to take charge.


Certain events happened which made even me, stubborn as I am, realize that it really was time to let go. And you know what! While I was very sad and angry for a few months because letting go of such old relationships even toxic ones can be depressing and terrifying, it was the best thing that happened to me. Suddenly I had an empty space in my life. But not for long!  Inexplicably,  I started connecting with amazing people both new and older connections I had long neglected because I was so caught up in the negative dynamics of clinging for dear life to this circle of friends. My neediness was born out of a deep sense of insecurity because these were the only people with whom  I had been closely involved with for all these years. Heck, I considered them my family!


Yes, most of my erstwhile friends were originally from India, one of the main reasons we came together in the first place. We faced a lot together and helped each other tremendously and for that I will be eternally grateful,  but it was now time for each of us to spread our wings and widen our horizons by meeting other people. And I think that is what has ultimately happened - everyone has grown a lot and is living fulfilling lives and now when we all do meet in certain social situations, it is nothing but cordial with no hard feelings. Of that, I am quite sure. In fact, I believe that each of us has decluttered our lives and are in a better space.


Additionally, I have learned is that while it is nice to have friends who share the same heritage and culture, true friendship and relationships cross cultural boundaries. Today I have a melange of friends from all over the world and a life full of people who truly matter. And I now look back with affection and cherish the wonderful memories of my former friends and the good times we once shared. That appreciation will never change.  We indeed came into each others' lives for a reason...


I am working on applying the same principles with respect to my thought processes and emotions. It takes a lot of self discipline and determination to let go of self-defeating thoughts and emotions and again is a lifelong commitment.


Also, you know what, the more you declutter, the less you need because the focus is now on quality and not quantity, but you have to first create the space for the good to rush in...

Comments

Sandi McBride said…
I was so happy to see you back in the saddle in blogland! I have always felt that our friends may be for a day or a month or a lifetime, they come into our lives and touch us in ways that we only understand later down the road, but that they were there is the miracle we have to hold on to. I declutter as you say frequently and it lightens the load...this was a great post, one of your very best...keep at it!!
hugs a bunch
Sandi
RBK's Realm said…
You are completely on target, Sandi! I could not have said it better. And thank you for your kind words- I intend to keep writing as time allows. I am back now.
Sandi McBride said…
my dear rbk...this is sandi's other blog author Batgirl coming to visit...I hope you will stop by and visit us of the feline persuasion as we spread our wisdom...
batgirl (and sandi)
Vivian said…
My dear RBK,

I so loved reading this. I count myself among those with whom you have reconnected - and am so glad we did! I find the concept of decluttering, the way you describe it, in a sense uplifting. It gives hope and a chance at renewal. It is really wonderful that something so simple can give us really a new lease on life. As we go through it, life, the universe, so to speak, has a strange way of teaching us...but we need to be open to it. You have definitely gone that route, my friend, and thank you for sharing it! Hugs to you,
Vivian
Debra Traverso said…
So glad you're back. Good posting, and I agree. Regarding decluttering, sometimes the wrong things and people can take up not only physical space in our lives, but our mental space too. It's true that sometimes we have to get rid of things (even people) to make room for the new. Sometimes, if people haven't grown with us, we do have to move on without them, due to new circumstances. Am anxious to read what all new things and people you bring into your life!
RBK's Realm said…
Very well said, Deb!
Raksha Thx for inviting me to your blog. Just loved what you have written. I have been thinking myself of getting out of certain friendships as they were tormenting me but i was afraid. After reading your article i feel confident. You are an exellent writer. Pls keep writing and sharing.
Lots of love
Rita