Today is my birthday. I have not felt like celebrating my birthday in quite a while, and my reason has nothing to do with age. A few years ago, my grandfather died on my birthday. He and I were very close, and I have not been able to let go of the sadness I feel every year on that date. As I thought about what I really wanted for my birthday this year, I realized that the one thing I wanted was a gift only I could give to myself. I wanted to let go of the sadness and the anger that I had been hiding towards my grandfather. He would want me to be happy and would want me to feel like my birthday was a day worthy of celebration rather than mourning.
As I worked through these thoughts and feelings, I came to see that my birthday wish is to find and experience the joy in my life. We are held back by all kinds of things, people, and thoughts that we hold onto even though they no longer serve us. We need to rid ourself of the clutter in our lives to make room for new people, new dreams, and new adventures. The clutter in my world, both physical and mental, is holding me back from truly finding and experiencing joy. I feel like I’m always about to be smothered by it, and my mind feels cloudy.
If it doesn’t bring you joy and you aren’t using it, just let it go. There was a scene in the recent Gilmore Girls comeback where Lorelai walks in on her mother going through this massive purge in her house. She’s going crazy getting rid of almost everything in the house after reading a book that instructed her to only keep the things in her life that bring her joy. She picks up and item, looks at it, and humorously comments “no joy.”
Stop to take a look around right now and think about whether or not the things around you bring you joy in any way. When I did this, I realized very few things actually brought me joy. Then there are the things that don’t necessarily bring you joy, but you use regularly. For example, my silverware doesn’t really bring me joy, but I use it every day to eat and would have less joy if I had to try to eat yogurt with my hands. There are, however, a whole load of things in my life that don’t fall into either of those categories.
So, why are those things even in my life at all? Why do I allow them to take up space in my world and my mind? We hold onto the old things because it is easy. Shedding the clutter in our lives takes a lot of work and discipline. Then, we have to be diligent about not dragging any of that back in the door again. My birthday wish for the next year is to clean the clutter from my world and make room for new, wonderful adventures that fill my heart and mind with joy.