How many of you have put off and put off sorting through a closet that you know is over-full with obsolete articles of clothing? And how many of you have agonized over whether or not to give an item of clothing away? Or pulled a garment from the give-away pile at the very last minute? One of the most challenging tasks we face in our wardrobe planning endeavors is the letting go of clothes that are no longer serving us.
Why is this? What is it about clothes, and other possessions as well, that brings up a palpable sense of loss when we think of separating from them? They are not living. They do not love us back. So what causes this and how can we work through it so that we can reach the peace of a pared down life?
Over the next few posts, I'll touch on a number of reasons for this strange phenomenon. Today I will discuss the first reason: Clothes represent an investment of our money.
You may feel that this is obvious, but there are some deeper issues involved that complicate the relationship. By spending money on an article of clothing, we've traded away the possibility of spending that money on some other thing. Deep down we worry that if it wasn't a good choice, we will have lost not only the money, but any other opportunity that that money could have bought for us. So choosing to give up an item that you've paid for can bring up these very strong feelings of loss...it isn't so much the item that we fear losing, it's the lost opportunities that we grieve. By holding onto the clothes we can attemp to keep those feelings of loss at bay --even though an unworn item has no more use to us hanging in our closet than it does on the discard pile.
How do you work through this? Acknowledge that there are lost opportunities. And that that is OK. And then remind yourself that the opportunites were lost the moment that you spent the money, not in this moment right now. Don't agonize over the money spent, or relive your decision to spend. That was in the past. Take yourself instead into the future, and how good it will feel to have everything in your closet be something you will actually wear.
Next time I will continue with the challenges in the process of letting go. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....
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