Less stuff. More love.
On Monday my husband and I had a dumpster dropped off in our driveway, and since then we have been deep cleaning our home. We pulled everything out of our attic spaces to clean them, and go through all of the stuff we had in there and decide what was worth keeping. And what was not.
It feels amazing.
I have never been great at letting go. It wasn’t until I got my eating under control that I learned how to let go of things that didn’t serve me anymore. Then I lived in small New York City apartments that had limited storage space. So twice a year, when it was time to switch out my seasonal wardrobe, I would do a big cleaning purge. What I didn’t learn right away was how to stop acquiring new stuff.
First, I had to see the clutter I had everywhere, then get clear about how stressed out it made me. And then get to the point where the pain of letting it go was less than the pain of keeping so many things.
Part of learning how to stop eating compulsively was to learn how to sit in discomfort. “How to not numb a feeling with cake” eventually turned into “how to not numb a feeing with an impulse buy.” (But let’s be clear. In the beginning, those impulse buys made it possible to not eat the cake. I always quit the thing that’s killing me quickest. It’s just that when the food got easier, I could let go of those little “treats” too.)
Getting addiction under control is almost always about connection. I regularly feel like there is a giant hole inside me. And I tried to fill it with food. And stuff. But the only thing that really fills it is being in relationship with other people. It gets filled with love and laughter and tears and compassion. It gets filled with quality time and acts of service.
It feels amazing to have taken a real, exhaustive inventory of what I have, and like a huge relief to have a dumpster full of the stuff gone. It leaves so much more room in my head and my heart for the people in my life.