Declutter and Grow Free Part 4: How to clean up your act in all areas of your life – Declutter Your Relationships
This is the last part of a four-part series on how to de-clutter every part of your life. I saved the best for last, but make sure you read the first three articles. We have discussed how to de-clutter your thoughts and emotions, your physical body, and your home and office. Now, to the relationships in your life. Are they ready for some cleaning and polishing?
How to declutter your relationships:
No man is an island. We all seek companionship and support. We search for love and acceptance. Once we find it, we realize it was never about them, it was always about us. Us and the Creator. We are enough, and we are everything we have been looking for. Still, we are here together, being able to connect, play, strengthen each other and grow, together. Think about that. Strengthen and grow, support and empower. Our relationships with others are gifts of riches and should be treated as such. The relationships you choose to have in your life, have the ability to lift you up or tear you down if you let them. De-cluttering your relationships is a beautiful opportunity to practice self-care and compassion. Strive to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people that you enjoy being around. Say goodbye to the toxic energy of others that like to throw you their negative comments. The kind that sucks all your energy and rains on your parade.
Love yourself first.
There is a difference between loving yourself and being full of yourself. This has nothing to do with narcissism, on the contrary, I am talking about being compassionate and true to yourself and your feelings. It is ok to be kind to yourself, it is necessary for your happiness. Self-love is self-care and taking full responsibility for one’s life. It is also about being authentic and true to one’s own needs and desires. Once you know what is serving you, it will also serve those around you. From loving yourself first, you will be able to grow better and deeper connections with those that you love.
Set some limits and boundaries.
Don’t let anyone invade your space with anything that is not serving you. You make the rules. Be clear on what your perspective is. We sometimes keep old friends in our lives that do nothing but suck our energy. Constant complaining and negative inputs. No thank you. You are the sum of the 5 people that you surround yourself the most with. Think about that. Careful who you listen to, and careful who you engage your energy with. Once you are clear on what it is that you want from a relationship, let the rest go.
Family can be tricky.
For some, it is the greatest blessing, filled with love and authentic support. For others, family life is a detrimental story of abuse and neglect. Besides the fact that we are all people, trying to do our very best with what we have been given, I believe that our true family is a consciously chosen group. Your tribe is that which you surround yourself with for comfort, community, and companionship. It has nothing to do with blood or biology. If your birth family is not giving you what you need, find someone who will. Re-define what family means to you, to set yourself free. So many are carrying old hurts and trauma from early childhood and adult lives. It is time to let it go. Forgiveness and compassion, then realizing that you chose who you want in your life. It is ok to feel good and to let go of what is not in that category. If there is someone you need to clear the air with, do so. If there is someone you need to forgive, then do. If there are situations that need to be discussed and agreed on, get to it. De-clutter everything that is polluting your inner terrain, the air that you breathe. Take from it only what will make you grow, be a better version of yourself, and give thanks for the experience.
Friends come and go, although some friendships last a lifetime.
Our need for friends is different. Some surround themselves with a large number of friends, while others have a few carefully chosen ones. There is no right or wrong, only choices. As we go through life we have different needs, although we tend to hang on to the same people. They might not be serving us or themselves, but for old time’s sake, we stay. Decluttering friendships is about discerning between the relationships that make you feel good and those that don’t. It is that simple. I am sure someone comes to mind when I mention; envy, stress, negativity, criticism, loudness, drama and being untrustworthy. Let them go. Clear the space for new friends to come in.
Learn to say no.
You don’t have to go to every party, and you don’t have to attend every event. Popularity is a hunger by the ego, and will only keep you in the claw of untruth. Be yourself and do what is right for you. Let go of the needy and toxic people, but also of your own need to do and be everything, everywhere. Who are you trying to impress? All you should care about is living up to your own potential, by being the gift that you are. No one else can define you or make you something that you are not.
Find a mentor, and stretch instead of crumble.
Walk towards the truth, which is always that of growth and expansion. Your friends and your family are supposed to be your support system, your cheerleaders, and your knowledge bank. They are supposed to love you and be your greatest fans. Invite them in. Look to people who will act as motivators and inspiration. Look for support and uplifting people. You deserve to be taken both seriously and to be treated with respect. Open yourself up to meeting new people, in new places.
Be kind and compassionate.
No matter what the situation, you are always the one responsible for your own actions and responses. You can always be loving and compassionate towards another soul. You don’t have to follow in anyone else’s footsteps. It is your right and your possibility to choose how you interact with anyone. Be kind, and be true. Never hold a grudge, and set yourself free. Forgiveness and gratitude go together with almost anything. A smile is a gift, and a friendly comment can change a life.
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. – Khalil Gibran
Make the list:
Putting your thoughts down on paper is always an eye opener. Make a separate list for each of the above topics, and you will easily see what needs cleaning the most. Write down how you feel about the topic, and why you need to de-clutter it. Write down what you need to get rid of, and start constructing a game plan. Make a timeline, and be accountable. Do you need any help? If so, start planning it. Call on friends and family if needed. Get support.
Make a list of physical things that need to go, but also of obligations that you have. How about the magazine subscriptions and e-mail lists that you are on? What can you do about all the social events that you really don’t want to attend? You will be amazed at how much is filling up your everyday life. Not only the physical time spent dealing with it all, but how it sucks your energy on an ongoing basis.
A great practice is to start throwing out three things every single day. It can be any small item like a pen that is no longer working, or single lost socks. You can find stuff lying around, or go search in an old draw. It will keep you in constant de-cluttering mode, and it will keep things from piling up. Clear your calendar every now and then, and put in “me” days. That way you will keep it from filling to the rind. Clear your desk every day, and make sure everything you own has its own space. Be diligent and persistence. It goes such a long way. All great achievements require that magical combo. Together with pure intent and the right mindset, you are set for success.
When space is cleared and disturbing noises are stilled, expansion and growth have a place to thrive. – Hilde Larsen
This process will allow you to see just how much you’ve taken on, and the weight it puts on your shoulders. Cut back and cut it out. Keep what you truly love. This goes for both material things and obligations. This is about getting rid of, and letting go of the extra weight. Stress will diminish, happiness will increase, and your outlook on life, in general, will change. You are walking towards the authentic freedom with less bullshit and more you.
Have a garage sale, a giveaway party, and set yourself free. The less we carry, the lighter we feel. As we walk lighter, we open our hearts to the flow of true happiness. It is never attached to things or people. It is never valued or measured in material riches. Less if often more. Simplicity is the key. Honor and cherish what you have. Love everything, your friends, your work, your family and your space. Have compassion, and don’t let anything own you or your energy. Detach and know that there is always enough because you are enough.
The known anecdotal story of a time when Gandhi met the King of Great Britain in London comes to mind. Gandhi wore his simple wrap-around cloth. A journalist asked Gandhi; “Mr. Gandhi, did you feel under-dressed when you met the King?” Gandhi then replied; “The King was wearing enough clothes for both of us!”
Gandhi was a true minimalist, a man who died a pauper but who affected the lives of many. He was born into a prosperous family, highly educated, and still, he possessed very little. He gave away most of what he was given, freeing himself from the energy that possessions make. Gandhi wore simple clothes that conveyed his message. We can all take something from this story. We can simplify your life by dressing for comfort, not to impress. We can live with the simple focus of love and compassion.
Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity – Albert Einstein
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