Today I’m helping a friend as she prepares to move to a new house. There are boxes everywhere and her whole house is turned upside down. The last weeks she has been busy sorting through her belongings and deciding what she wants to keep and what she wants to give to charity. Having lived in her house for over 20 years it is a lot of work especially since she’s collected a lot of stuff and naturally holds on to things.
As we are clearing and packing I sense a heaviness within her and I realise that she is in mourning. She is having to say goodbye to a piece of her life, a place she hadn’t always wanted to live but provided her a safe place to come home to none the less. On several occasions while sorting through her belongings she gets overwhelmed and has to go to do something else. All I can do as a friend is give her the space she needs as I get on with packing.
A lot of the time we neglect the emotions that surface as we say goodbye to the old. A new house, a new job, e new relationship, our pension, these are all things we eagerly look forward to not realising that what we leave behind has an impact on us too. As we move on we have to say goodbye to a home, our colleagues, our single status and a chapter of our lives that might bring up several emotions.
It would serve us well to take a moment to reflect on what we’re leaving behind and to ask ourselves some important questions: What did the old chapter bring us? What are we consciously leaving behind? What are we taking with us to the next chapter? What will we do differently as we’re moving forward? A moment of reflection will give us the time we need to look at what we want to create. We can ask our self the question how we want to shape the next part of our journey and allow the answers to give us the frame we need in moving forward. Before we step into our next chapter with a clear view and focus on what really matters to us.
Spending time with my friend I get to know the story of all the things that go through our hands as we sort and pack, I honour those stories and give her a hug from time to time. Together we see how the process is giving her the insight that she has wasted a lot of time and money on acquiring things and spent even more time and money maintaining all those things. As the days progress we declutter that a lot of cupboards and I witness her getting lighter both literally and figuratively as she realises she doesn’t need all those things to be happy. In the changeover from the old chapter to the new one she’s looking forward to the simplicity of the new chapter and the peace of mind that the release of all those things will bring her and is already bringing her today.