Each summer I go through the ritual of tidying out my wardrobe. I look out seasonal favourites, try things on for size and review whether they reflect who I am in this moment. I carefully consider whether it is time to let go of an old treasure to allow space for something new.

This year I have to contemplate letting go of my dearly loved, soft, black suede espadrilles. They have travelled many miles with me offering comfort and giving me a spring in my step as I explored new places and collected experiences. They stir in me memories of seeing my first elephant in the wild in South Africa, visits to a healing well in Sardinia, many moonlit nights in a marina in Portugal and searching for bargains in the souks in Egypt. Although they are now tattered and torn, beyond their best, they are a time capsule of magic moments. I am emotionally attached. I admit it! Letting go of these friends will be difficult!

As I deliberate their fate, I am led to explore this feeling of attachment on a deeper level. We hold onto possessions for many reasons, sometimes because they make our lives flow easier, or they make us feel good about ourselves, or we are attracted to them because our true self is bursting out and they reflect that or simply because they are beautiful. There is however a danger of us becoming too attached to the possession and overlooking the feeling it evokes within us, which is the true treasure.

Those comfortable, unfussy, down to earth, simple style sandals reflect my ideal way of life. A life exploring the new with ease and practicality, enjoying relaxed sunshine happy days with exciting new experiences just around the corner.

Would discarding them mean I somehow couldn’t have this again?

I recognise this anxiety at letting them go as disguised fear. The underlying fear of losing the comfortable, the happy, the relaxed life without trouble or challenge, fear of losing the familiar, fear of losing the freedom to explore the new within the framework of something I know and trust.

There are two roots to all actions in life: fear and love. Fear can limit us, hold us back and end up in regret because we haven’t found the courage to move forward and try something new or even follow our most beloved passion.

It is not just possessions we hold on to, it is feelings too. Feelings of guilt, anger, disappointment, resentment, regret, the list is long. We carry them around letting them weigh us down and sometimes unaware they are still there, they just become absorbed in our life and we are reluctant to let them go. Perhaps we fear the space that will be left if we do let them fly free, a space we won’t know how to fill. Our reason and justification as to why we cannot move forward would be gone.

In my book, “50 Letters from Spirit. A Call to Awaken” my guide refers to fear and self-love.

“When we embrace that which we fear, we just simply acknowledge it, accept it is there and move forwards through it because we are more than our fears. Once we love that part of ourselves, we need not fear the fear itself and so there will be a release of limitations attached to it.”

He goes on to reflect. “Fear of what will be happening in the future will take away appreciation of now and therefore limits your experience.”

We are reminded to be in the moment and fully value each interaction and to truly love and appreciate what we have, now. To be grateful and in that feeling of thankfulness let go what doesn’t feel good and what doesn’t fit anymore, in spite of our fears, and to simply love ourselves enough to not carry around past hurts and feelings that we don’t need.

Knowing and feeling when to let go can be difficult. We would rather stay with a familiar hurt, familiar possessions, feelings and lifestyle which really don’t serve us anymore instead of bringing love into the equation. Love for self. This is an area we have to explore if we are to realise our full unlimited, unique expression of our true self, ever changing, ever evolving.

Change comes into our lives whether we order it or not! If we focus on simply what we love, what feels good and what is serving us well on our path in each and every moment then letting go of the familiar won’t be tarnished with regret. Instead it will be an exciting step to creating space and inviting more things we love into our lives.

All experiences in life are learning, hold on to what is good, keep it in your memory and in your heart, let go of things and feelings which no longer serve you, be done with them but do it with reverence for the lesson they have offered you, do it with kind compassion for self, do it with gratitude and thanks for the experiences whether good or challenging. Then sort, review, see what fits, reflect on what suits you in this moment… Consider with kind compassion for self whether it is time to let something go to make space for something new to come into your life.

My faithful espadrilles are released with love and gratitude and hats off to the wisdom in my wardrobe!

Patricia McDowall

Patricia McDowall

patricia mcdowall, 50 letters from spirit, spiritual books, spiritual authorMore to Life Elder

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