How to Clear Out the Old to Make Room for the New

Ordinarily this might be more of a topic for the New Year, but given circumstances and the talk of spring cleaning, I figured this might actually make a lot of sense.

Growing up, my step mom taught me that when you get something new, you get rid of something old. When I got new clothes, I’d find old clothes that didn’t fit or that I’d worn a lot and give them to the Goodwill. I’ve always been in cycles of clearing out my life and bringing in the new. As they say, “The only constant is change” and I heartily embrace that concept.

In a lot of ways, my journey to Omega is like that. I never really stay in one place for too long (and I’m sure that could be psycho-analyzed to pieces) and it was about time to leave Atlanta. It meant getting rid of a lot of extra stuff I had in the house that I couldn’t bring with me. I said goodbye to the close friends and acquaintances I’d made, the monthly meetups I went to, Jesse’s family, and, most importantly, Jesse.

The saying, “If you love something, let it go. If it’s meant to be, it will return,” comes to mind here. The hardest part about saying goodbye is that neither of us wanted to. It wasn’t one of those we’re-so-sick-of-each-other break-ups, so much as one where we both acknowledged that what we need at this moment is so spectacularly different from one another that it doesn’t make sense to be together right now. And there’s always the hope that fate will bring us back together and, consequently, the fact that we may both meet someone new.

Clearing out the old is an incredibly holistic process. It takes every part of a person- from the physical to the emotional, mental, and spiritual. On a physical level you could be releasing possessions or excess weight, relationships or a stale career. Emotionally, you may be getting rid of negativity, past emotions that were never fully expressed, or any lingering emotion that doesn’t suit the “you” you have in mind right now. At the mental stage, we can release old thoughts and thought patterns that are outdated. We can let go of the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts). And on the spiritual plane, we can release spiritual ideas imposed on us from childhood or carried over from our religious backgrounds. This frees us to discover what’s true for ourselves as individuals. Entr├╝mpelung Stuttgart

When you clean out the old, you make room for the new. Your life is kind of like the Universe in that there’s never empty space. When space becomes available, it gets filled up by something new. The new could be any number of things. It could be a healthy, fit body. It could be a stream of positive emotions. It could be happiness, the discovery of your own spiritual path, or the development of a beautiful relationship. It could be an exciting career change, new friendships, or travel. The possibilities are endless. The only condition is that you make room for them.

If I were you, I’d be asking: So how, exactly, do you clear out the old? And how do you know when it’s time to do so and what needs to be cleared out?

Here are my in-no-way-complete answers:

The best time to clear out your life is anytime, all the time, and whenever you feel like you’re looking for something more.

Take an honest look at your life and where you feel you need room for improvement. Ask yourself what’s holding you back. Is it physical belongings? Is it someone in your life? A situation you’re in? Once you find out what’s triggering your dissatisfaction, you’ll be more clear on what needs to be removed from your life.

Just so we’re all seeing eye-to-eye here, removing stuff from your life doesn’t have to mean tossing it in the trash or burning bridges. When I was moving, I put all my non-valuable, dispensable possessions on Freecycle. I left them on my porch for people to come by at their leisure and pick them up for free. Freecycle is a great way to reuse and re-purpose items by giving them to a new home.

Friendships can be difficult terrain, especially if you’re not used to being the one to end a friendship. You’ll know whether or not you want to keep a friendship intact by taking an honest look at what you’re bringing to and getting from the relationship. If you feel jilted or uneasy about it, the relationship has probably lost its flame. And that’s totally OK. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. If once-upon-a-time you were best friends and now you’re clinging to old memories, don’t worry about it. That friendship served its purpose and now you’re ready to meet someone new.

Ditto for intimate relationships. I know how hard it is to let go of a relationship but if it’s not serving you, what’s the point? Relationships aren’t just about being with your best friend all the time or great sex, it’s about the whole package. Finding someone you want to spend your life with. If you’re unsure if you’re in that kind of situation, maybe it’s time to start doing a little more browsing before you relegate yourself to a relationship you’re not 100% sure about or invested in.

Letting go of emotions, old thought patterns, and spiritual beliefs can be a bit tricky and I’d recommend that you go to a professional for help with each. Shamans and other spiritual teachers can help you find your way, regardless of what your current beliefs are. A good psychologist, life coach, or even health coach can help you release old thought patterns and emotions so that you’re free to move forward. There are so many nooks and crannies in this industry, that if you look into it, you’re bound to find someone who can help you out a lot.

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