I think almost everyone can agree that moving is stressful. In the last nine years, I have moved eight times and three of those were cross-country moves! I’m talking far east coast to far west coast.
With each move, there were things we had to leave behind…either to be thrown away, sold, or given away. I was usually pretty good about knowing roughly how much space we had in our moving trucks and planned accordingly, but on our last move from Vancouver, BC to Ottawa, ON, I had my most difficult “leaving behind” experience.
My husband and I had just purchased brand new bikes about a month prior, and I was only four weeks postpartum after delivering our first child. Somehow, I had totally misjudged the number of boxes we had packed and the small space in our U-Haul truck and we ended up having to leave our brand new bikes behind at the last minute. I was devastated!
If I had known we were lacking space, I never would have packed those boxes full of pillows and hangers or I would have at least tried to sell the bikes or donate them to someone in need! But, it was too late…the bikes ended up on the curb and I found myself almost depressed about the whole situation.
In the weeks following that move, I started reflecting on the entire experience and just how emotional I had become over those bikes. Why did it bother me so much? Were bikes really that important?
My rational brain was telling me no…they weren’t. But my irrational brain kept screaming “but you just left behind your brand new bikes!!!” I realized that I needed to do some serious introspection and start evaluating my priorities in life.
I wasn’t an avid biker at the time. I simply had wanted the bikes to cruise around town leisurely with my husband. Now that I had a newborn, I knew I wouldn’t be biking anytime soon (not to mention the fact that I was moving to a place where it was probably too cold to bike about 9 months of the year).
In the end, I discovered that it was less about the physical bikes and more about the fact that we had left behind about $400 dollars, simply because I had miscalculated space in the U-haul.
Now don’t get me wrong, $400 is a lot of money and we certainly were not in a financial position where we could afford to just throw $400 dollars away. But, continuously dwelling on the loss of the money wouldn’t change the situation because it already was done! They were gone, and there wasn’t a single thing I could do to change that.
Instead of accepting the futility of the situation, I had allowed it to affect me so greatly that I was actually feeling depressed!
What I needed in this situation was to learn to LET IT GO!
What Are You Letting Go Of?
Whether you are looking to declutter your closet, your schedule, your emotions, or your entire life, you will absolutely fail until you master this initial step of learning to let things go.
We all carry around extra baggage in most aspects of our lives. Be it physical weight on your body, emotional hurts and wounds, bitterness and resentment in your marriage, a hectic lifestyle that doesn’t allow for any down time, or a closet full of sports equipment that you haven’t used in over a decade.
For most of us, we probably carry around excess baggage in more than one and likely almost every area of our lives.
And why is this a problem? Because it is weighing us down…physically, emotionally, spiritually, and metaphorically.
The more we have (whether it is physical pounds on our bodies, gadgets in our home, or events on our agendas), the more we become burdened and enslaved to these things.
What are you struggling with?
Excess weight that is preventing you from chasing after your children or finally running that 5km race you’ve always wanted to do?
A house full of belongings you have to clean, organize and insure but get little to no enjoyment out of?
Are you holding on to bitterness and resentment from something that happened twenty years ago?
Or maybe you work 8 hours a day then spend your evenings driving from swimming lessons to soccer practice to church groups and other functions and literally have zero down time!
I get stressed and anxious just reading these things, and yet this is the norm for most of our population! So why are we clinging so tightly to these things and what is preventing us from being able to let go?
9 Scripture Verses to Help with Letting Things Go
1.“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
2. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1
3. “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” Matthew 16:26
4. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
5. “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” Proverbs 11:28
6. “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27
7. “And he said to them, “Take care and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
8. “For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” 1 Timothy 6:7
9. “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:27-29
The Best Time to Start is NOW
As our family has started to embrace this concept of “letting go,” we have found so much joy and freedom!
First of all, it is SO much more fun to give than it is to receive. We aren’t always able to give money to the charities we care most about, but often times these same charities accept donations of gently used clothing or household goods.
Or, perhaps you could have a yard sale and donate the profits! Maybe there is a vacation you’ve been dreaming of taking as a family. Why not survey your belongings and see if there is something you could sell to contribute to the cost of the trip? After all, memories are the only possessions that will last a lifetime!
Maybe what you need to let go of is on an emotional or spiritual level. If that is the case, I would urge you to talk to someone you can trust…be it a counselor, family member, or a close friend.
Many things like excess weight, emotional wounds, and even a house full of junk cannot be let go of instantly, but the hardest part is just starting!
Once you take that first step to letting go, you will embark on a lifelong journey of freedom that will feel so good you won’t ever look back!
So what are you letting go of? Post below…I’d love to hear all about your experiences with letting go and embracing simplicity!