Mindfully clearing emotional clutter

man carrying stringed instrument while walking the pavement during daytime

I had an Aunt that passed away a few years ago. She used to collect many mementos and decorated her home with them. She loved to stay connected with people from her past that passed away. Her house has full of ceramics, pictures, and trinkets. Most objects were from positive memories, but there was one thing that I remembered that was a painful memory.

Her first husband died in a tragic car accident. He passed over thirty years ago, and she kept a picture of him in her bedroom. The photo was the emotional clutter that reminded her of an abusive husband. Whenever she talked about him, her mood and her body language changed. You could see the pain and suffering on her face.

Your heart remembers

My Aunt’s situation is not an isolated one. Many people keep things in their home that they remind them of negative or tragic memories from their past. These items become emotional clutter that keeps them holding on to their past suffering. Keeping those items will keep stuck in those unpleasant and sometimes harrowing memories.

I want to invite you to get rid of emotional clutter from your past. If you look at your bedroom, home, and closet, do you have any times to connect you with emotionally painful memories? If your answer is yes, you keep garbage that blocks your happiness and is cluttering your present.

There could also be things that you don’t think are painful or negative, but they are. Maybe you are holding on to clothes for years that do not fit you because you hope you will lose weight. Whenever you see these items, you feel ashamed about your body and start a self-critical spiral. It can be any item that brings you down and connect you with negative judgment and disturbs your inner peace.

If you are unsure if you have any of these items around you, it is easy to find out if you do. When you see or hold these emotional cluttering objects in your hands, you feel tired, depressed, angry, and overwhelmed. You can sometimes feel very uncomfortable emotions arising and overtaking your heart.

Do you have mementos or objects with emotional clutter?

A practical way to release emotional baggage from our past is to do it by getting rid of mementos that connect with painful memories. If you feel that you are frequently thinking about your past situations that block your inner peace and happiness, consider this releasing practice.

Releasing your past

  1. Go through your mementos and other items that you feel are keeping you down. Grab the items and hold them. Take time to go through your bedroom, closet, attic, garage, storage unit, and your home. Please take a look at the things you are keeping and hold them to see what emotional reaction you get.
  2. Talk to the objects and tell them why you are keeping them. Say it out loud if you want or in your mind, and connect with the reason you have for keeping the item.
  3. After reconnecting with the objects, decide which items you are going to throw away. All the things you feel are keeping your stuck to a negative past put them to the side. Dispose of the item to heal and empower you to move on with your life. You can destroy, chopped, break or burn the object if you think that will get you to release the past. You can also donate or recycle the items if you think it will help you know that your history will help others.
  4. Complete the exercise by placing around you items that remind yourself about loving memories. Take out and display things that you found in this declutter and place them where you can see them, touch, and hug them. Surround yourself with items that make you connect with love and remind you of a safer and happier life now.

One quote

“When we let go and stop dragging the pain and past, we free ourselves of dead weight and allow our hearts to heft the good stuff…the stuff that makes our journey lighter, easier, and more meaningful.”
― Toni Sorenson

One question

What objects do you need to get rid of to release your past?

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