Posted by RycePapers | Filed under RycePapers
My brother and his family have been building a cottage for some time. This summer they moved in with a roof and real windows. Now comes furnishings and this is a perfect time for me to practice some guilt-free giving.
I wandered around my place and asked: what can I live without that would be useful to them? I sent some pictures of dishes? The note accompanying the picture read: ‘Would you like these, no pressure, and if not I will take them to the thrift store.’ The last half of the sentence is the important part for guilt-free giving. I know the dishes are leaving, they know the dishes are leaving, and so whether their answer is yes or no is irrelevant; hence guilt free on both our parts. They said no, thank you to the ice cream dishes. They don’t have electricity. What was I thinking?
When they visited recently and spoke about their cottage I continued giving: Would these stacking chairs be useful? Yes. Would these candlesticks be useful? No. Again, I reminded them these items were leaving so no guilt about refusing anything. Containers with lids? Yes. Hammock? Yes. Black chair? No.
In the end many items got in their car. Fantastic, several fewer items for me to care for, store, and dust. They now possess useful items for their life on the lake. Recycling at its best. And what they did not need, went to the yard sale for a local service organization. Win-win-win: good for all of us.
Part of the challenge of letting go of items is the idea that you ‘paid good money for them’. Is there any other kind of money paid for them, like I paid bad money for them? Somehow I believed by getting rid of something I bought, and did not use use commensurate with its price, made me bad. That is the difficulty of removing items: by getting them out of the house we acknowledge our poor decisions. We feel wasteful. We regret spending the money. We are reminded of our errors. We reproach ourselves for wrong choices. We feel guilty. Or at least I did.
I thought this way for many years, trying to force myself to use the clothes, food, chair, or hand lotion I purchased, never liking it one bit. I read somewhere that things accumulating in our environment that are unused represent blocked energy. They stop us from moving forward, they clutter our lives, and they remind us to feel terrible about ourselves. Yikes. I asked myself is it better to keep the item around as a finger-wagging reminder, or to clear out my physical and psychic space?
Freedom! I changed from guilt feelings to guilt-free thinking. Now I say thank you for either the use of the item that no longer fits my life, or I say thank you for the lesson I learned from buying it. And I move on. And if I go to my brother’s cottage and do not see these items, I will know he practiced recycling and guilt-free giving, too.
That is what’s on my mind today, what do you think?