“I don’t want to burn that candle and use it up.”
This is definitely one of the most ridiculous thoughts I’ve ever thunk!
Followed closely by the hesitation to use my favorite wrapping paper for the same reason.
Seriously, what sense does it make to buy a candle because it smells delicious and then save it because it smells delicious? Flawed logic at its finest!
I’m guessing some of you can relate.
What about your best shoes that you’re afraid to scuff or wear out? Or the cutest scrapbooking paper that keeps getting passed over because you might need it for a more perfect application? Maybe it’s your best dishes that you’re afraid to chip? These irrational concerns undermine the entire purpose of buying things you love in the first place.
I asked my husband to share something that guys tend to guard to the point of not using and he immediately said, “Vehicles!” He explained that most men will buy the car or truck of their dreams and then garage it for fear of putting miles on it. I had to laugh because as afraid as I am of using the things I love, even this never occurred to me! Don’t you buy a car to drive it?
Many of you have read Erma Bombeck’s, “If I Had My Life to Live Over,” written after she found out she had cancer. My favorite nugget of wisdom?
“I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.”
If you’ve never heard the piece in its entirety, take a moment to listen to the following video. The words and truth are so very powerful.
The entire point of living life is to actually live it. What good does it do to collect items we appreciate and then tuck them away to be forgotten? Or almost worse are things remembered but never enjoyed?
This is something I’ve struggled with for much of my life. The fear of not being able to replace ‘stuff’ ran rampant in my heart. As a single mom, finances were often tight and I didn’t have the confidence that the items near and dear to me could be replaced if I used them up. So I just hung on to everything. Enjoyed nothing. Cluttered my home. And my head.
I’ve learned a few things along the way that I’d love to share with the hope that it might encourage you to use what you love.
- Tastes change over time. You might adore something now, but in a few years, it may not have the same appeal. Use it when you love it.
- Sizes change. What fits now may not fit later. Don’t wait.
- Spoil yourself. You’ll find you don’t have to spend money on new stuff if you just dig through your closets and drawers and find long lost items you’ve been waiting to use. So use them!
- Declutter fear. Convincing yourself that you won’t be able to replace things in the future will sabotage your ability to find joy now. I’m not talking about reckless abandon, but most of the everyday items we hesitate to use definitely don’t fall into the ‘wild and crazy’ category!
- Find freedom. There are no guarantees what tomorrow will or won’t bring, or if it will even come at all. Commit to making the most of the time you have now. Today. No holds barred!
- Give yourself permission to be human. You just may chip a fine dish if you use it. Or break a strap on your favorite sandal when you trip off the curb. That’s life. Trying to maintain a perfect, problem-free existence is exhausting, unrealistic, suffocating, and boring.
- Stuff can get ruined when stored. Things break, fade, get ripped, yellow, etc. It’s inevitable. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy something now, only to miss the opportunity to enjoy it later. Double ouch!
- Leave yourself open to future blessings. There may be little room left to bless you with new and different things in the future if your life is already crowded with stuff. It’s okay to usher out the old to make room for the new. A special blessing could be on its way!
- Consider the gift you will give to others. Using that gorgeous scrapbook page on a present for your mom will delight her. Your spouse will really appreciate the yummy smells from your best candles on a special night. Maybe give your kid forgiveness in advance for the scratches they will put on their new bicycle. Talk about meaningful gifts?! Share the love.
My aunt once told me, “There is rarely gain without risk.” ‘Risk’ enjoying your stuff! Sometimes we need to relax just a bit and throw caution to the wind.
What would you gain if you rejected the grip of fear and instead embraced freedom, even with the seemingly ‘little’ things in life? Big joys, Big blessings, and Big freedom!
Go burn that candle! Use that wrapping paper! Wear those shoes! Set the table with your best dishes! And drive, drive, drive that car!
Tell us what fear you are going to declutter today!