As we age, many of us downsize. Our children are grown and out of the house with jobs and families of their own. We no longer need as many clothes and other accoutrements associated with work or a more active lifestyle. We may be completely alone by choice or by unfortunate circumstances. Moving into smaller abodes requires us to get rid of a lot of what we’ve accumulated during our lives.
While we get rid of lots of stuff, many seniors ignore or forget about dealing with letting go of the non-tangibles.
Letting go of emotional baggage can be more burdensome than letting go of cars, couches, or clothes. For some reason, we struggle to break the bond we have with people, places, and situations that neither support nor enhance the last good years of our lives. The reasons why we hang on are numerous and different for each of us.
I’m sure each of us has one or more emotional ties that we need to clear out in order to be free and happier. Here’s how to loosen or let go entirely of the non-tangible, weighty baggage:
- Be willing to examine and let go of relationships that no longer fit you and your life. Refuse to head butt your happiness against those who don’t support you, let alone agree with your ideals. It’s a waste of time to struggle for approval, love, or acknowledgement. If you don’t have it now, it’s not likely to be forthcoming.
- Are you holding on out of habit or because the whatever really serves you – be that anger, shame, or disappointment? Are you hanging on because it’s the right thing to do or because you feel obligated to continue to punish yourself or the other person? Ask yourself those questions and answer honestly.
- We all outgrow people and situations, and that’s okay. Other people may include you on their list. Be willing to forgive yourself if any ending went badly or not as you hoped.
- Finally, be willing to accept that the past is in the past and can’t be changed. Let go and move on.
By clearing the emotional cobwebs, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You are making space for new things to come in. While it’s hard to let go, I’ve found it’s always worth it.