Letting go of material belongings is one way to live simple. Still, it does you no good to live in a small house with less stuff if your spirit is full of emotional clutter. Your life will still be stressful and frustrating unless you purge that crap. Sometimes you need to rid yourself of emotional clutter in order to let go of the physical stuff. Today, we’ll look at 5 healthy steps to purge emotional clutter.
Do you ever find yourself getting angry easily? Are there people in your past that have hurt you? Have you held onto your hard feelings toward them? Have you done things in your own life that you regret? Have you forgiven yourself and others?
Part of living simple is coming to grips with your own negative feelings. Once you uncover your negative feelings about yourself and others, you can begin to purge. Purging negative feelings will set you free. You’ll find more peace. Your life will become more simple.
How To Purge Emotional Clutter
- Dig deep: This is the hardest step for many. In order to get rid of the clutter, you have to find it. Just like much of the useless stuff in our homes winds up at the bottom of boxes and in the back of closets, so our negative feelings wind up buried deep in our psyche. Intentionally spend some time to go through old memories that you might usually try to avoid. If it helps, go to a quiet place to do this emotional work.
- Write it down: Once you’ve uncovered the negative things you’ve been carrying around, you need to write them down. I was the child victim of a cult. For years, I walked around full of anger toward those who had hurt me, including my own parents. I started writing about my childhood experience in my 20s. I kept writing about it until I’d written a book, A Train Called Forgiveness. You don’t have to write a book, but write down everything that you need to purge. Make a list of people and things that have upset you. Make a list of your own mistakes. You’ll need this list for the remaining steps.
- Forgive others: It can be hard to forgive others. Sometimes we’ve carried pent-up resentment around for so long that it’s grown like a noxious weed. Forgiving our perceived enemies pulls that weed by the roots. Work your way down your list and verbally forgive each person who hurt you. They don’t have to know you’re forgiving them. They don’t even have to be living. Just make sure to say the words out loud. I forgive you…
- Forgive yourself: It can be even harder to forgive yourself. In my own journey, I’ve studied and written much about the process of forgiveness. A lot of that work has been praised, but several people noticed that I’d left something out. I rarely focused on self-forgiveness. Face it. We all do stupid shit. We’re human. Make sure to include your own mistakes and misgivings on your list. Verbally forgive yourself for every stupid thing.
- Throw it away: If you’ve made it this far, you’re on your way to emotional freedom. The last step to purge your emotional clutter is the most rewarding. There are many ways you can proceed: Go somewhere and release all the crap. You might go to the top of a mountain. You might go to the ocean. You might go to the fire pit in your backyard. Wherever you go, there are different methods of getting rid of your emotional clutter.
How To Dispose Of Emotional Clutter
- Crumple it
- Crush it into the ground
- Tear it into little pieces
- Bury it in the ground
- Burn it (my favorite)
- Scream out loud, “I’m free!”
- Choose your own unique method
Once you’ve completed the 5 healthy steps to purge emotional clutter, don’t expect everything to magically be better. This was the start. Just like you need to continually pick up after yourself around your house, you need to continually work on your emotions. But you got the deep stuff. You’ve emptied the old unwanted crap at the bottom of the box and thrown it away. That in itself will lift your spirits and put you on the road to emotional freedom.
One way to continually stay on top of your emotional clutter is to always stay in the present moment. When you stay present, you leave the past, with all its problems, behind.