If your 2019 has been anything like mine, you have probably been watching the Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Kondo’s method invites us to take inventory of all of our belongings, sift through them while paying attention to which items “spark joy”, and to let the rest go. She also has a great deal to say about how to fold clothes, but we can leave that for another day.
I have been intrigued by her concept of letting things go. If an item is no longer useful or no longer brings us joy, she instructs us to thank the item for what is has meant to us or taught us, and then to let it go. She explains it beautifully in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up:
“When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life. You’ll be surprised at how many of the things you possess have already fulfilled their role. By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order. In the end, all that will remain are the things that you really treasure. To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”
As we grow and change, we often come to places where we realize that something that used to work for us is no longer bringing us joy and needs to be discarded. It could be a career, a friendship, a set of coping skills that were once our only way through. We must ask ourselves the question, if I continue saying yes to this way of being, what am I also choosing to say no to? What goodness could be possible if I discarded what is no longer truly satisfying me?
There is great risk in discarding what we have in the hope of more, but as Marie Kondo teaches us, the discarding doesn’t have to be reckless or unfeeling. In fact, it can be a sacred act filled with self-compassion and gratitude that opens up the space necessary for new life and joy.
What do you need to let go of in order to create space for deeper joy?