Monday, March 14, 2022

Emotional Decluttering in my 60s

As I look back on my life, I can see all the events and circumstances that brought me to where I am now.  I am grateful for every situation and relationship that helped me to grow into the woman I am today. 

What I have realized is that some of what I have been holding onto no longer serves me and it is time to let it go.  Just like that closet packed with clothes that I no longer wear; it is time to clear some of the emotional clutter.
Letting go can be difficult but when I look at the benefit it brings, it becomes easier. 
It doesn’t happen all at once. 
Just like sorting through that closet, I needed to take my time and try some things on.  How does it feel?  Does it work for who I am and what my life is about today?  If so, I will happily keep it – if not, I have to release it.

I like the philosophy of Treasure or Toss in decluttering and it helped to ease some of the emotional discomfort I felt about this process.
One thing I seemed to have accumulated a lot of over the years are unhealthy relationships.  Those interactions that, no matter how hard I to try to fix them, they never get better. 

What I have discovered is that abuse comes in all shapes and sizes (physical, verbal, emotional, financial, spiritual).  Running the gamut from unkind and disrespectful to controlling and manipulative, it all has the same outcome – pain.

Replace what you don’t need with what you do want.

In the beginning, everything felt like a loss.  Now, I look at what I have to gain in the process.  Once I removed the anxiety and discomfort, I found peace and clarity. 

Gently, I began sorting through my feelings.  I evaluated each situation carefully and asked myself – does this bring me joy?

The answer isn’t always clear cut, relationships are complicated.  But if I am serious about improving my life then I need to prioritize what I give my time and energy to.

Aging clarified what is most important in my life.

After turning 60 I no longer felt like I had forever but, in many ways, it felt like my life was just beginning. 

What I didn’t want to do was to waste one moment being unhappy.  Life can be short or long, but it is all very precious, and we have to make the most of it.

For me, that means taking the time to appreciate all of the wonderful experiences I have had and letting the rest go.
Clearing what no longer fits feels like creating space for what is yet to come - more joy and satisfaction at this beautiful time in my life.

Did your outlook on life and relationships change after turning 60?  What impact has aging had on your relationships?  Share your stories and join the conversation.

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