Catch and Release

For the last several months, I have been working on "the big purge."  I have been cleaning out  closets and drawers and scary spaces beneath beds and throwing out... the crap.  No matter how many times I go through this process, I still need to go through this process.  Life seems to be a constant game of how to get more.  

So this morning I was cleaning out my closet, which, I have been trying to empty an item or two out per week, so I thought I was ahead of the game, right?  Then I looked at my bra collection.  Yes, I said bra and yes I said collection.  There's really no other way to refer to it.  I didn't count them.  Let's just say I think I could have gone 2 months and never worn the same bra twice.  Now, if you're a woman reading this, you can likely relate to what I'm about to say.   I wear the same 3 bras in rotation.  So WHY oh WHY do I have ..........a collection of bras?

This bra business got me thinking about life.  It's much the same way.  We surround ourselves with people and things and items and stuff and yet we always circle back to what we know.  What is comfortable, what is our favorite, what is safe, what is home.

Especially people.

If I sat down and truly made a list of people that I know there would likely be hundreds if not thousands.  Look at facebook.  I think I have about 700 friends on facebook.   In my community there are dozens of "friends" and "acquaintances" in my life, but I always surround myself with the same core group of men and women, "my team..." who are my comfortable place, my safety zone, my home, and my favorite group of humans on earth.

So like bras, or socks, or shoes, or purses, or kitchen gadgets or whatever it is that you find yourself "collecting," even if it's accidentally not on purpose, purge it.  Thin it out.  Surround yourself with what you NEED.

Not what you want, or what you may even think you want, but with what you need.  The people that you need.  The people that are, as my good friend JR and I discuss regularly, energy givers and not soul suckers.  Sometimes we have people that we WANT in our life, but they aren't what is best for us and for that chapter in our story.  I've learned that the hard way in my life and with particular clarity  in the last few months.

Sometimes we WANT something in our lives so badly that it ends up being like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.  More than that, we end up capitulating to our DESIRE to have this thing more than the truth of what that thing actually brings to our lives.

Haven't you ever bought a pair of shoes that you just "had to have," and you get them home, maybe even wear them once or twice but they sit in the closet because they are impractical, hurt your feet, don't really actually match anything you own but you WANT them to work out so badly in your wardrobe that you keep them, hoping that someday they will become "that pair of shoes." Conversely, you have that ONE pair of shoes that you never really expected to be that pair of shoes, but they just become the ones.  You live in them.  They are comfortable.  They match almost everything.  They feel good on your feet.  More importantly they make you feel good and confident when you wear them.  Not because they are necessarily the best pair of shoes around, but because they are the best pair of shoes for you.

Those are the people we should be surrounding ourselves with.  No one is perfect, but the people we allow into our lives and give our time and energy to should be those who are perfect for us.  They should be those people that lift us up and make us feel our best and are energy givers.  Now listen, relationships of any kind are a give and take full of ups and downs.  The people in our lives aren't always going to be "up."  I get that.  But there's a difference between being "down" and being a soul sucker.  There just is.  And when that line is crossed, you'll know it's time to get out the bag for Goodwill.

I'm doing this in my life.  Not just in my closets and under the beds, but with the people I'm surrounding myself with.  After going through a rough breakup you begin to question everything, including and especially yourself.  You begin to doubt everyone around you and question the truth in every situation.  So ask yourself..... who is rising to the top?  Who is "showing up," for you?  Who is truly there for you when the chips are down?  Who is there for you to celebrate when it's a random Tuesday and you're just having a great hair day or succeeded at a kick ass presentation?  Those are the keepers.  Those are the relationships you should cultivate and pour your time and energy into.  Because when you do, what you will get back is tenfold.  With those people, your favorite people, you will reap more than what you can ever sow and that's why you are lucky and blessed to have them in your lives.

So I encourage you to go through your "collections."  Whatever they may be.  Ask yourself the tough questions.  Is this in my life because I simply WANT it to be?  Is it there because I NEED it?  Is it there because it's my favorite and makes me feel good and comfortable and safe?  It's not an easy process for sure.  This morning I decided to part with some bras that I think I've had since 1989.  But remember, when we clear our lives of the clutter, the things we don't need, the things that no longer serve us, we make room for so much more.  So much better.  


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