Don’t judge me. Read to the end.
I don’t know why I did it. I’ve never done something like this before.
I had enough. I just pulled the trigger.
And I lived to regret it.
And obsess about it.
And psycho-analyze myself.
Here’s how it happened.
We hosted a big sale recently of repurposed goods. I was tired of my brown pleather office chairs and ottomans. They were nice but “too dark” I thought. Plus my dogs had scratched the ottomans. So I added them to the sale.
But no one wanted them. I guess they weren’t shabby enough. They didn’t sell.
So then I was stuck.
They were already half way out the door. I had mentally “broken up” with them.
But I wasn’t sure I was ready to let go. Like a bad relationship, I guess.
My dad helped me by loading them into his trailer. He asked me whether I wanted them back in the house or just to donate them.
I was suddenly at a complete impasse. I could NOT commit either way. For three days I flip flopped.
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?
These chairs represented ALL of my office furniture but I didn’t like them anymore.
Most of all, they weren’t “me.” They were too masculine. They made the room feel too impersonal. Not at all like the rest of my light and bright farmhouse.
But they were perfectly serviceable chairs!!
So what did I do?
Well, the (probably imagined) pressure from my dad having them pre-loaded in his trailer became too much and I just finally authorized their donation.
They went to a community warehouse around here that resells the furniture. (Which is NOT even how I like to donate things!! I prefer to give directly to someone who has a need – which I am sure I could have found someone OR give to one of my favorite charities.)
That’s when the guilt set it.
Why did I do this??
I gave up ALL my furniture! My office was now empty! I had no back-up plan!
I immediately had to start using folding chairs and tables. Which looked like a bad, unprofessional picnic.
My brown club chairs were at least nicer than that.
I began to start analyzing myself and my decision.
I can’t be the only one who does this! Have you ever found yourself questioning your own judgment? Tormented by a wrong decision you feel you made?
I felt ridiculous.
Why would I get rid of all my stuff without something to replace it?
Why would I rather have nothing than something?
That space looked so bare….and I felt at a loss.
And, yet…..I knew that my significant internal reaction to such a simple matter was revealing something bigger. Something I needed to examine. Maybe several things.
I took authority over my mind and removed myself from the outcome.
In my conscious mind, I knew it was petty and small to be worried about such a ridiculous act. These are first world problems. Laughable, even to me. (Well, maybe soon they would be laughable.)
As I glanced around the empty office room; two uncomfortable epiphanies began to dawn on me….
First Epiphany: I had become too comfortable with what I had just because I had it. I was unhealthily devoted to the familiar. After all, we stick with what we know. “If it ain’t broke,” we reason….but sometimes that concept is just a cover-up for fear of change.
Living within 'the familiar' limits us from experiencing the flow of life, of change, and of abundance. http://ctt.ec/0Oacc+
Living within the familiar – even unconsciously so – limits us from experiencing the flow of life, of change, and of abundance.
I had cobbled together that room when we first moved in and it was “fine.” So I left well enough alone. I was constantly moving things and “making do” but I can’t say I ever loved the room and the furniture….
And then…out of nowhere…a NEW thought dawned on me…What if this elimination was the first step to an UPGRADE?
Why I had not thought pleasant thoughts like this before was also very revealing.
My mental default – that this situation was uncomfortably highlighting – was one of status quo, not one of flow and upgrades.
Other things in my life had been adjusting to an abundant mindset; but apparently this hidden bastion of same-ness was still there.
And if it took losing furniture to help me find this hidden mental construct; I’ll take it!
Are there blocks in your mind that are keeping you in same-ness, smallness, and status quo?
Step back and take an aerial view of your life…maybe there are some invitations with your name on them waiting for you to drop the familiar and embrace THEM!
Second Epiphany – the Real Doozy: The empty space really bothered me. The lack of a back-up plan. The total “irresponsibility” of not planning ahead.
The hacked-in solutions of plastic chairs and tables were mocking me.
At first, I began a mad campaign to remedy this problem. I went out and bought new chairs.
A few times.
I moved in furniture from other rooms and tried to patch things together.
Truthfully, I was kind of embarrassed. My husband wondered BOTH why I stripped furniture out of our house with no warning AND why I wanted to talk about it for weeks afterwards, trying to mentally work out the WHY of my actions.
Like a sliver in my foot, the empty room vexed me every day.
Remember: I AM A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER!!!
I makeover spaces ALL DAY LONG.
I have vision for other people’s spaces!!
In just hours I can turn chaos into order!!
But apparently not for this space. At least not at this moment.
I went to every home décor store within driving distance, sometimes late at night, to see if I could fill this gaping chasm.
After many weeks of effort, I ran out of steam.
It was as if the room was asking me to just let it be. Just let it work itself out. Just wait for the right solution.
And so I acquiesced.
Not because I wanted to, but I just became too busy with other more pressing priorities.
And so many meetings and gatherings have now taken place in this college dorm room type of setting…on random chairs and dumpy tables prettified with tablecloths.
Awkward. Yucky. Not me at all.
And two months later still the room sits vacant except for a few wing chairs I stole from my bedroom to make-do. Why does it feel like two years?
My comfortable-enough room that hospitably welcomed travelers, clients, and guests is now a vacant room that has become quite utilitarian, much to my chagrin.
It turns out that this epiphany was even bigger than the stuck-in-the-familiar revelation….
My undone room was challenging me to be okay with all that’s not figured-out-yet. It wanted to know if I could live with the unknown, with what’s ahead, with what’s unseen, and still be O.K.
I fought it. But all my replacement attempts of upholstered chairs and pillows and all my Pinteresting amounted to nothing and I was still left with the empty room.
You see, this room is a personal and professional space where our team meets, where our celebrations happen, where holiday gatherings convene, where coaching sessions glow. It’s a womb of LIFE.
And now it is empty.
And then it occurred to me!!!
It’s a space that the future has to fill.
And so I wait. I have stopped measuring and dreaming and acquiring and just STOPPED.
This Empty Room has revealed to me my own discomfort with waiting, with NOT knowing an outcome. Even in that empty room, I bumped into my default dislike for not having answers.
Standing outside myself, I was able to watch my frantic self trying to get things “back to normal,” trying to get to the new, improved version.
Isn’t it wonderful when all this junk hidden in the trunk floats up to the surface? (Sarcasm.)
Actually, I am learning to love these wildly stupid and revealing moments. Precisely because junky stuff IS coming up and out! The remaining mindsets are being revealed so that I – in my sound mind – can remove them.
I choose to part with same-ness and status quo. Because I want to and because I must. And you must, too. Because we have been uniquely designed and sent to heal the world and solve its problems. And we cannot do so if we are more devoted to the familiar than that which has never been done or seen before.
I choose to part with striving to get to the next thing. Even typing that has weight to it! What if we can’t get to the next thing until we wait for a season? What if how we handle THIS MOMENT determines what the next thing looks like? What if we force fit a “suitable solution” in our discomfort that actually hijacks the solution that was lovingly reserved for us in the future?
I’m not just an organizer, I’m a detective. So even in the middle of my hysterical, out-of-body experience losing pleather grocery store furniture, I KNEW there was MORE to this story! And I hope that by sharing my hidden mental constructs and trading them UP, I have encouraged you to do the same!
I am choosing an upgrade today. This is not about my furniture or an empty room. This is about my willingness to LET GO and let Love teach me that GOOD is always coming to me. I am willing to let the furniture of my life be rearranged – and even removed – in order to receive that which is waiting for me. I am willing to endure the “messy middle,” the awkward, embarrassing, and even challenging pause for the outcome that I know will be glorious.
I hope you will do the same!
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