All change begins with ACCEPTANCE…
The first step in letting go is accepting the story your clutter tells. All clutter tells a story and everyone has clutter in some area of his or her life. Accept that your environment is simply a reflection of your life up until now, a reflection of what’s happened to you and what’s going on inside you. There’s no shame or blame in looking at this picture; that would only keep you in the role of a victim. In order to step into the power of change and growth, you must be willing to open your eyes and see it. There is no healthy payoff in focusing on the clutter itself, on staying locked up in guilt—not for you or for others. However, great power is arises when you accept that you are the creator of your life and of your environment. Your old things, your old patterns, your old relationships reflect who you have been and what you have built or what you have avoided—it is YOUR PAST!
By accepting the full story in front of you, you can step into present time. There is a famous line in the Alcoholics Anonymous book that says “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.” I believe this is true. Acceptance is the beginning of any change. Acceptance brings peace. Acceptance opens the door for support to come in.
Here are some simple exercises to support you in coming to a place of acceptance:
Answer the following questions:
– What am I having a hard time accepting?
– Why am I having a hard time accepting where I am today?
– What am I telling myself about why I am stuck?
– What is the story I want to get out before I can move on?
– Am I willing to accept what is in front of me?
Acknowledge your feelings:
– I accept that I am scared.
– I accept that I feel hopeless.
– I accept that I have created this situation.
– What would acceptance feel like?
– Where can I begin my acceptance?
– If I accept what is in front of me, how will I be set free?
– By accepting my situation, what can I let go of that is dragging me down or holding me back?
– What would acceptance look like?
Another method for getting out and accepting your old story is to tell it out loud. The key is to find a person you trust who is willing to listen with heart and attention. I have found many people hold on to their stuff because they feel they need it in order to share their life story with another human being.
This is an excerpt from Marla’s book The ART of Letting Go, which you can download now as a gift from her.