Have you found yourself needing to make peace with letting go of items in your bedroom closet, your Halloween decorations or beliefs that no longer apply to your life?
Do you need to take the time to purge old clothes, unused holiday decorative items, or things you just no longer need? A purge may also be helpful in making peace with decisons we make or beliefs that no longer apply to our story.
Have you thought about what it might mean for you to really let go?
Let me share with you what happened to me this month.
While I walking with a friend two weeks ago, we talked about “editing’ many things in my house and life. Life events and priorities have put many on the back burner. There is no better time than the present to get these things done.
We talked about how there is freedom from taking these steps to clear out things in your house. Sometimes we don’t feel or see the actual effects of it until after the job is finished.
But trust me there is peace.
The effect of clearing out, editing, may not be revealed until after all is said and done.
With my closet I was happiest once the items were bagged up and taken to the favorite donation center. Thankfully we have already done this part.
While I was cleaning out my bedroom closet, a few weeks ago, I was exhausted after a long chunk of time sorting through this long over-due messy and dusty space. It seemed as though it would never get the way I expected.
But I was fierce, maybe ruthless, about what I was going to keep or never going to use again. When in doubt send it out. So out things went.
I am finding myself seeped in simpler days more than ever before. I have kept my focus on a few particular, intentional things recently. Some seasons require us to rest in simple.
I am okay with this and the more pared-down, focused version of myself.
And if I am honest, I like to wear the same types of things most of the time anyway.
Maybe because I have become peacefully detached to things, visions of simpler days seem like an excellent choice for me. So many bags of items left my house and hopefully will bless another closet.
Seeing the free, breathable space in my closet was so refreshing. It was a great reminder of why we need to remove/edit/let go of things we no longer need.
This closet purge/edit sparked a similar chain of events in another unexpected place in my house two weekends ago.
We love the fun of Halloween in this house. Let me be clear. I am not all that excited about the goblins, creepy ghouls, and menacing fright that occurs with Halloween.
What I love about Halloween is the hospitality and community that comes from this sometimes unloved event. I know many either love it or hate it.
We really love the fun of Halloween and the way it brings out the neighborhood.
The doorbell rings. The doors constantly opens to greet neighbors and friends. There is excitement handing out sweet treats to eager little ones wearing their favorite superhero, princess, or alter ego costumes. It’s fun to see the older kids holding on to one more Halloween. They shout, “trick or treat” wearing t-shirts that read, “this is my costume!” They hold on to one more because it’s fun to be in community with their group of friends. Talk about not being quite ready to let go.
I tell you this, so you understand my love for Halloween and why Halloween decorations always mattered to me. Let me explain the Halloween connection to my bedroom closet.
Two weeks ago, we had some free time to bring out our Halloween decorations from storage. My darling husband descended from the creepy garage attic with the Halloween storage bins. Overwhelm began to creep in thinking about having to clean it all up. My love for Halloween was fading fast. I did not want to fill my witches, orange lights, and black glitter skulls like I did in the past.
Remember, I said I am loving simpler times?
But I knew the kids love the tradition of decorating with their favorite orange and black, witches and stuff. To honor the kids’ desire for a festive Halloween, I offered a “less decorated” version.
No doubt, I was making a witchy face at the thought of it all.
I guess we sometimes get gifts in disguise.
It seemed we had a visitor — not the kind you wish to invite to join you at your table. This is the kind that could be part of Halloween decorations, but a real-life version.
The containers begin to line up on the deck outside, and we discover the lids no longer locked in place. This most likely happened due to the drastic changing temperature of the past year. So there was a perfect opening for a tiny little visitor or ten.
They say where there is one; there are many…
We had a Halloween mouse. Likely we had Halloween mice!
Typically, a mouse mess and carnage like this would cause me to shudder. Not this time.
I began to feel a sense of excitement for the impending outcome of this situation.
Maybe you see where this is going.
I was forced to edit. Amen.
I HAD to purge. The sigh of relief that came over me when I realized I could unload these damaged items. We decide to donate them to their permanent resting place inside their crypt, aka the trash.
Some things were quite damaged and unrecognizable. Other items were no longer acceptable to use as decorations inside the house after the mouse massacre or the “mouse-acre” as we are now calling it.
For a moment, the kids were disappointed for the decorations until they remembered the minimal clean up we have on November 1.
Seeing the empty bins as we dumped the trashed decorations, I felt a huge weight lifted. A few favorite skeletons and other decorations were saved and are sitting with real pumpkins on tables around our house. Fortunately, the decorative “Skellys” (as we call them) survived in the crypt, I mean bin, that did not fall victim to the mouse haunting.
Remember, we salvaged a few things, and while the kids like to decorate they were happy to have less. They feel the peace that has come from the edit and purging that has taken place lately in our house.
Here’s where I circle back to walking with my friend. She cheered me on for my work of letting go, for making peace. We laughed at the gift of the mouse invasion. Then we somehow we landed back to a conversation we had earlier in the week. My family needed to make decision about something that was weighing on the hearts of some kids in my house.
After a little time struggling with this decision they finally made peace with their decision.
I was still questioning this and reasoning and playing devil’s advocate. Appropriate for Halloween, don’t you think?
My adoring friend stopped in her tracks. She asked me point blank as a friend would, “Why are you are holding on to this belief or idea? You already told me how you felt about the situation, what it meant to the kids in question. A decision was made. Why do you have a hard time accepting the decision? Why not let go?”
We talked about why it can be so hard to let go of a belief or decision once its made. Why do we hold back from letting it go, especially when we make a reasonable decision? Why do we second guess and allow doubt to clutter or steal our peace?
My friend and I agree that the right decision was made surrounding this situation. It seems like it had been well discerned with prayer and counsel. It was time to make peace.
Sometimes we continue to hold on. We try to convince ourselves the decision needs more time in our head and heart. Why is it hard to see the gift of clearing the clutter on decisions and irrelevant beliefs? Like the closets, we should see the beauty of editing that space in our head and heart.
I tossed that around in my cluttered mind when I really just wanted to be at peace.
There is no doubt the open, breathable spaces bring us peace whether in our house, our heads or our hearts.
As we clear excess in our closets and storage bins, we can see the visible gifts of empty, breathable spae. We understand the gift in fewer decorations collecting dust on our tables in our home. Why can’t we quickly see the same breathable clear space in our soul?
If we let decisions linger, we do not allow our soul the empty space it needs to breathe. We can fill that space with irrelevant things that clutter, or we can leave space for our soul to breathe
Decide, let go and rest in faith that it will all turn out okay. Letting go may ultimately bring peace.
For today, I am breathing a sigh of relief for the things that I let go. Keeping only the items that I am wearing consistently. I am satisfied with the clothes I love while still having tons of space to breathe. No longer holding space for the “just in case.”
You may hear me giggle and silently thank the Halloween mice for their part in my peace process. Though it was less than ideal how we came to purge those outdated decorations, it sure made the decision easier to let go. I no longer wanted any of it anyway. I was at peace.
As for resting in decisions and letting go of old beliefs, I am going to work to on being gentle with myself. Sometimes those old beliefs are no longer relevant. They may have stemmed from a twisted truth, or they are simply no longer meaningful to our journey. When I make a decision about a situation, I will do my best not to let doubt clutter my brain. I will no longer overthink the decisions I make.
I encourage you to find a place where you can edit and purge anything that is no longer relevant. Whether it’s clothes, Halloween decorations, or a belief that you are gripping tightly, its time to let it go.
Its time to let go. Make no bones about it. I am going to take advice from that skeleton and remind myself, “C’est la vie.”
P.S. A Ode to Mother Nature on Halloween
Rain rain go away, come back and haunt another day.
We don’t want the trick-or-treaters to melt away.
And if the rain doesn’t stop
It’s time to grab an umbrella and put it over top.
“C’est la Vie!”