I just finished yet another “clean/sell/pack” campaign. The unglamorous part of living bi-continentally.
It was a Marie Kando decluttering test where everything had to be “useful and necessary” or “bring me joy”.
That is how I came across a third criteria – “what can I part with without resentment or remorse?”
It made me think about the things I hold on to mentally. How much old stuff rolls around in my brain? How many unhelpful memories, impressions, hurtful comments? How much of it do I need to let go of?
Marriage for example. How much pain do we hold on to? Are we even aware we are choosing to hold on to it?
We don’t contrive every painful moment in our relationship and drag them back out the next time something similar happens.
We just genuinely don’t understand why our husbands can’t remember our birthday, anniversary or what we like when they can recite a comedian on television or remember every detail of the last Super Bowl. We just don’t get it.
So, perhaps we equate that to a lack of love or respect they have for us. (At least I did that.)
It could be that they don’t love us anymore, maybe. Or it could be that we are just fundamentally and completely different.
Which means we use all our glorious being trying to figure them out, or get them to “get” us, essentially beating our heads against a wall to bring back “love”.
What if we took that same energy and poured it like an ever-flowing river back into our lives. Rediscovering our dreams, our smiles, our “happy”. What if for a moment, we just pretended “he” wasn’t the most important person and our marriage wasn’t the most important thing in our lives.
What if we let go of the burden of making him, or even them (our children) happy and just thought about making us happy?
Because, the trick isn’t to get “him” to do something (which we rarely can do anyway – am I right?). The trick is seeing “we” can do something.
Instead of drowning in service to home and hearth, asking someone to please help us, please love us, please just hear us, we decide how much of ourselves we WANT to lavish on our husbands, marriage and children. WE decide.
Think about that, just for a moment. Can you look around and make a list of everything that you do for someone else that you don’t really want to do? Can you make the list without feeling guilty, or telling yourself that “this is just the way it is”?
I divorced my husband because I felt unloved, unappreciated and wounded. I poured my life into him and our son, without ever seeing the connection between choice and expectation. When I went to him, wanting to receive the same back, he looked at me like I was crazy.
I was holding on to so much I didn’t have to hold on to, and resenting the hell out of it.
I’m talking about the sneaky little things that add up over the years, like running our child’s sports equipment to them at the last minute, picking up the dry cleaning because guess what he forgot to, again, although it’s his and he drives right past it to and from work. Things like working through our lunch hour, coming in early, staying late (and then apologizing to our family for it). I am even talking about cleaning and cooking (especially ironing! LOL)
As women, we often secretly believe that the world might just stop revolving on its axis if we don’t ______________. So, we punish, guilt and should ourselves into a place of exhaustion and resentment. But, we can change that. If we want to.
Not by going on strike, creating a revolution, shouting “I am woman, Hear me Roar”.
But rather by examining our limited resources. Taking stock of our beautiful heart. Rediscovering our joy, our passions, our dreams, which ultimately increase our ability to give back.
How many painful moments from the past are you holding on to regarding your husband?
How much resentment are you swallowing because he does ____________ or doesn’t do _____________________?
How often do you do things you don’t want to do for your children because, well, you “have to, or _____________”?
How much clutter do you have in your home that literally weighs you down to clean, move or organize?
How long have you been at it?
What can you part with? Where do you start?