for a strong, fast pick-me-up
As you travel around this time of year, you are likely to see piles of household items out ready for kerbside pick-up. I’ve recently been through throwing things out – and throwing out SOME things caused me guilt and sadness. I reckon other people would feel the same pain so I asked my wise friend, psychologist Kerry Deller, about what I describe as the ‘pain of parting that is NOT a sweet sorrow’ for many.
T: Kerry, you reckon clearing things out is very important and kerbside pick-up is an important time of year
The most empowering thing in life you can do is to let go.
IN nature a key for growth and life is letting go. YOU eat food. YOU take the good parts and let go of the rest. YOU drink, extract the good stuff and you let go – you release.
Emotionally – something happens, you process it and you were designed to let it go. But the problem is: people try to hold on to things
T: I admit I have terrible ‘guilt’ and sadness at letting SOME stuff go for kerbside pick-up – especially things related to my kids
K: That’s a common problem. Just remember…it’s not the thing, the object – it’s our emotional attachment to the thing.
As humans (as opposed to other living creatures) we have the unique quality of being able to attach meaning to things.
So, (as Kerry picks up a glass to make her point ) this beautiful glass here – it’s empty, but I attach a memory to it. I remember it tasted ‘yummy’. Even though it has nothing in it now –it’s the conduit…the connection… to the experience I had.
I’ll keep it because it reminds me of the experience I had.
T: And I think people don’t want to throw certain things like ‘inherited’furniture out because the things remind them of loved people – like deceased parents. I imagine they feel guilty getting rid of things.
I see so many couches on the kerbside. Why are couches such common items to throw out this time of year?
K: Furniture represents the energetic trend of a time – couches represent different times – times in fashion and times in our lives.
Many of the couches you find on the street for pick-up are very solid (often leather or ‘leather style’ couches. If you were to see inside the homes, you’d probably find what they’ve been replaced with lighter-weight couches, more probably fabric, not as thick and chunky. People want things that are lighter and more portable and that take up less room.
The new homes don’t want a big, chunky, heavy couch.
The heavy colours are also out of fashion. These days many people want lighter couches and colours.
T: I’ve also noticed so many office chairs being thrown out. What’s behind that?
K: That could be for a couple of reasons. Office chairs often have more ‘breakable parts’ that make them unusable and ‘wonky’ and unstable.
Another reason is that with changes and improvements with computers and wi-fi we are not stuck in an office chair at a desk. We can just take our laptop and work on the couch – or the bed. We are not tied to a cable or a desk or an office chair. If we need a chair we can just use a different house chair.
If we need a desk, we just use the kitchen table. It’s all about versatility.
What you see on the footpath is a reflection of how things have changed, how tastes have changed – and how sometimes in our lives we don’t need as many things anymore.
T: Interesting! We threw out things for our kerbside pick-up – and I must admit I felt really bad throwing out some things that related to my kids – like a change table or a wooden toy table. The kids didn’t need these things anymore. They had outgrown these things – but I hadn’t!
Now you’ve explained it – I realize that I am the one with the ‘attachment’ – feeling ‘the pain of parting’. What you say makes so much sense. It was painful parting with memories of particular times in the kids’ lives. I felt so bad throwing it out – but once the things were picked up and gone, I felt much better.
Do many people have these sorts of ‘attachment issues’? and what can they do to reduce the pain?
K: Yes, it is common. It’s also important to learn to live without having to keep objects or things because you attach too much meaning and memory to them. Too often – we don’t have things – they have us. Just remember – the memory…the experience is in YOU. YOU can re-live that memory or experience WITHOUT having to drag some object around with you or have it taking up space in your life.
T: I hear some people learn to take photos of objects and get rid of the objects
K: You CAN take photos – but you don’t even need photos. The meaning…the memory is in YOUR memory bank! I suppose the photos can remind you and trigger memories that you have…but you don’t even need the photos. It’s really liberating to be able to move through life freely knowing memories are within us and we don’t need to carry around or keep ‘stuff’.
T: I was chatting to another dad who said he that HE is not sentimental but his wife IS. Can times like throwing stuff out for kerbside pick-up cause ructions in relationships.
K: Aaaahh – now that’s such a big area. I think we should save that for another chat.
T: We’ll pick up that kerbside pick-up topic later!