Holding on to things that bring up memories of unpleasant situations, experiences, and people, cause us (whether we know it or not), to keep that negative association in the back of our brain. And when it’s there – who knows what can happen? We can either become annoyed without thinking about, feel sad remembering someone who hurt us, or even angry at someone we feel acted inappropriately.
Before I became a Professional Organizer, I had an organizer by my place. I gave her a tour and talked about different areas of my place. She noticed a framed handmade drawing that had a shelf all to itself. She asked who drew it – I mentioned that an ex did, but we were still friends (at the time). She pointed out that by having it, and having it in a place of honor like that, I’d constantly be thinking about that relationship, the way I wished things were, and the way they REALLY were. At the time, I viewed the picture as just a wonderful memento of how much someone valued me. But then I realized how true it was – I’d look at it every day, and think “why didn’t things work out?” That’s no way to move on and move forward! In that frame of mind, no one new could come into my life and no new healthy relationship could form.
Most of us have these kind of things around, but we probably just don’t think about it. What things are you holding on to that have negative associations?