Dropping the struggle, making space, and releasing what no longer serves is January's theme on here! This is part two of my previous post - part one focusses on how to make space in your inner life and this post focusses on making space in your outer life. Take this post as an invitation to evaluate what is collecting dust in your outer life, such as connections, relationships, things, situations, and places.
While we're human and don't get everything right all of the time, at some point or other, we've all had an instinct about something that told us something felt off or didn't feel quite right. And, when we ignore that instinct, we're often shown exactly why we should've listened to it! (Almost like ourselves telling ourselves 'I told you so!') But it's never too late to learn from that inner voice and to learn to trust and listen to it more.
So, what is that voice saying about your outer life - such as your current situation, location, work, or relationships?
Whether it be family, friendships, or love relationships, I wholeheartedly believe that all relationships have their purpose and every person that enters into your life is there for a reason - despite how insignificant that relationship or reason is. For example, relationships that you've been the antagonist in, might push you to practice kindness or compassion, and on the flip side, relationships where you've been dumped on push you to recognise your self-worth and what your values are. Also, issues in your family relationships might go on to influence how you will approach your future family to avoid those issues.
Taking a look at the relationships that are prominent in our lives and seeing how they make us feel is the first step. While, of course, we are responsible for our own wellbeing and shouldn't place the responsibility of our happiness on others, it's important to see what relationships elevate you and which ones don't. Which ones add stress or drama or feelings of inadequacy? Which relationships would you not want someone you care about to be in, whether they are familial, friendly, or romantic? Simply prioritising our wellbeing and starting to care about ourselves enough to leave that situation - whether it to be physically, mentally, or emotionally leaving that situation - will do the world of good. And disconnecting from these relationships needn't be aggressive or fuelled by negativity. It's purely a decision to make space and peace in the lives of all concerned - you can wish someone well, forgive them, and still not play an active role - or any role - in their life.
Ultimately, life is short and can be tricky enough without us creating or dwelling in avoidable problems. There are billions of us on the planet - eventually, you'll find all your people if you haven't already and whoever you've left behind will find their people too!
Where you are
Some of us live where we do simply because we were raised there, others because they have moved there for work, education, and so on. But some questions to ask are: Have you outgrown this place? Do you have a lot of memories attached to that place that you'd rather not be reminded of every single day? Does it have good energy? Maybe it feels like the perfect place in which case, lucky you! And of course, it's not always easy as upping sticks, because of various responsibilities but even just being aware of these things could help in the future, if and when you do have the freedom to make the choice to move. Also, seeing things from a non-nostalgic point of view and being open to relocating and what could be a positive change, might make a huge difference.
On a smaller level, does your room have items that you haven't used in ages, clothes you haven't worn, or that you associate with an unpleasant time? Every six months or so (and definitely before New Years - that's been my tradition ever since I was young and I've no idea why!), I take a look at my room and have a declutter. It is SO therapeutic!
Digital and social
I find going through my camera roll and clearing it out one of the most boring things ever, but this literally does create space and again, helps you to let go of anything that no longer serves you. Similarly, it's a good idea to go through who you're friends with and who you're following on social media (if you don't want to feel sneaky about unfollowing people, you can always just remove them so that they no longer follow you too or you can just 'mute' them). We spend so much time on our phones and this has only increased during the frequent lockdowns, so who and what we see on social media is not just what we see on our phones - it's what we populate our days with! And so, having a little cleanse now and again might be helpful.
I hope this post has served as an invite to release any parts of your life that aren’t making it flow and that aren't bringing you joy. I hope this is the year we all make the choice to drop any and every struggle.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes and should not be seen as a substitute for professional psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.