As my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our child in November, we have started nesting. Our evenings and weekends have been filled with cleaning and organizing to make room for all the supplies that the baby will need. Going through the things that we have saved over the years, in corners, in closets, and in the basement, has been stressful and quite challenging. Both of us have a really hard time throwing things out. Whether it is due to a fear that we will need it in the future or due to sentimental value, our collection of stuff (and junk) has grown over the years. It has taken a lot of mental energy to commit to getting rid of the things that we have saved for so long, even though most of those things have just been sitting in a box, unused.

Although there can be value in saving things that might be beneficial or special in the future, there can be a downside, too. We can feel weighed down and our lives can feel cluttered. This is true of actual things and of memories and emotions from the past. For example, when we remember a traumatic or painful event from our past, never forgetting the lesson we learned from that experience, we can use that information to try to protect ourselves from similar hurts in the future. However, if we hold on to that memory too tightly, we risk becoming overwhelmed by it, to the point that it interferes with living in and enjoying the present moment.

When we become aware of our tendency to hold on to pain from the past, we have a choice. We can continue to hold on, maintaining a false sense of security that this will keep us safe. Or we can choose to move forward in our lives, toward the goals we have today, despite the negative experiences from our past. My pregnancy forces my husband and me to move forward and let go of many unnecessary things in our lives. However, we don’t always have significant events to force us to make changes. Are you holding on to something from your past, allowing it to interfere with opportunities and keeping you from living the life you want today? What would it take for you to let it go? If you are struggling to let go, contact Serenity Solutions for the support you need to move forward.