Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Have you ever read a really old letter that made you smile and laugh, while at the same time tears were pouring out of your eyes like a waterfall?
Old collectibles, whatever it is that you may collect (especially if they are paper goods), have a lot of energy around them. It's beautiful energy. Afterall, it's something that makes you happy or has made you happy previously.
The reason I was reading the letter wasn't because I wanted to cry for a minute or reminiscent about the past. I was on a quest.
If you're familiar with KonMari method (I wrote about it in the New Year's post), the Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, then you know that you're supposed to clean the rest of your house before you ever touch any of your memorabilia. You're not supposed to start with it because sentimentals slow you down. And I knew I would get stuck on them. You have to read this, then that, then reflect. That's why they tell you not to start from old photographs. Since I've felt like I've gone through pretty much everything else, I decided to move on to the greeting cards and letters that I've collected for the last twenty years.
So I started rereading one of the first "love letters" written to me and there was so much energy in and around it. It was so random with a splash of the word "like" in it. It was so private and yet so not private about anything. And yet it was so personal and original. I had to read it in a couple of sittings because I couldn't stop crying through my laughs. It wasn't sad and I wasn't feeling "the feels". No. The content of the letter was so random, or maybe it was just trying to be random so the intention could be buried between words like 'meteorology' and 'AP History'. But for the first time I actually felt like this person did like me, a lot, despite everything he didn't say. Gosh, high school was so angsty! I love it :) As I was going through the cards, at times it felt like going down a memory lane of memories I didn't know I had, or just couldn't recall. Things mentioned about 'fries in pockets', 'going to Germany in a few weeks' (never happened), and even some letter exchanges seemed foreign. It was as if I was observing someone else's life. Has my memory become so bad so soon? I used to say my memory refreshed every four years, but is that a thing? There are so many things I remember, but sometimes my memory fails me too.
Surprisingly for me, there were a few things I learned about myself and the state of affairs while doing this exercise. I hope this helps you and inspires you to go through your own things as well.
The 6 Lessons I Learned While Clearing the Collectibles
There is a reason for clearing clutter. If you want to get to the next level, whatever it may be for you (job, relationships, income, creativity, etc), then you have to clear the clutter in your current life. If you want a bigger, more beautiful house, make sure your current one sparkles or you'll clutter the new house as well. If you want better, more meaningful relationships, let go of negative nancies that don't love you. Go through every piece of your collectibles. Read it, listen to it, appreciate the message, appreciate the messenger. Thank them. Forgive yourself.
1. Emotions that come up during this are really important. Really feel them. They are telling. Sometimes it means we haven't dealt with something. Maybe we weren't living in the present then and now seeing it with the fresh eyes, we see it for what it was. Live it, breathe it, cry it out. Really release the energy that surrounds your stuff.
Starting today, write a long lost friend to say hello. Or maybe realize you weren't on the same wavelength. When you feel and appreciate all of the emotions, you stop avoiding the topic or blaming yourself. You forgive. 2. There were a few cards congratulating me on what seemed as trivial milestones to me back then, but were enough to be recognized by others. Like my first art awards, my first modeling gig, my graduations. I still don't think it's a big deal but it's because I don't have a gene for celebrating my wins, I have a gene to keep on achieving things. It made me stop and realize that time will pass us all by, but are we appreciating it?
Starting today, celebrate your wins. What are you thankful for that you've accomplished this week? Really savor that moment and bask in it. 3. I wish I spent more time with people I loved when I had time with them. I wish I was even more respectful, I wish I didn't listen to some 'people I trusted' to tell me the truth when they distorted facts. But I'm trusting like that. I wish I spent more time with my grandmothers. I wish I understood them more. When you're younger and given how close you are to them, it's hard to see them for who they are. I wish I got a redo on some of my friendships. C'est la vie. But you can!
Starting today, appreciate those around you. Follow your gut, don't just listen to others. Tell people how much they mean to you. 4. Also I've yet again realized how many times I've given people second chances. Some of them are still in my life because we've known each other for so long, it finally started to make sense. But it's funny to read a card now about something that meant a lot more then. "Apparently you have been distant for a reason I just don't understand." You've tried to get with all of my exes and told people not to tell me. Mhmm. No reason for understanding :) It was only high school :)
Starting today, evaluate your second chances and be more picky about your friends in general. The better quality friends you have now, the better quality people you will meet because you won't be succumbed by drama and negativity in your life. 5. I was surprised at how many people started the card with "sorry if you don't like the card" or "I only had money for a card". Stop right there.
Starting today, don't ever say anything negative about yourself or anything to do with you - ever ever ever. Always be confident in what you do. Don't bring attention to things you don't like or are ashamed of. People will love whatever you do if only you don't make an excuse for it in the beginning. 6. Written things are so precious. There is thought put into them and time. There are energies in them. The words put down on paper can be so interesting.
Starting today, write a letter by hand, sign a postcard, write a note, and mail it to someone. Maybe ask for one back. Create. Underline. Bold. We should tell our people how special they are but we should also write it. Let them know how much they mean to us. Because one day they will sit like me and go through a thoughtful letter, or card, and they will reminiscent about your time together and they won't throw away the paper good because there is so much meaning in it.