Are You Guilty Of The “Just In Case” Syndrome?

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    Thanksgiving week 2010 was an interesting one to say the least. It had been a week full of letting go of the old and making room for the new. Tuesday afternoon, a friend who is a stylist, recently took me on as a client and conducted a clothing inventory of my closet.  This was just the first phase of the process. We examined every piece of clothing that I had. We discussed each item, the look that I am trying to achieve and the variations that my garments could be worn in. Afterwards, each item was placed in one of four categories:

    1. Give away- i.e. Goodwill
    2. Resale- Consignment shop
    3. Maybe-could possibly keep but it was up for discussion
    4. Winner- I could keep

    HEAR ME when I say that this process was more painful than I thought it would be. We all have some items that we know have to go, and for the most part, we are okay with that. But others we keep for various reasons such as the cost factor or it is one of your favorite pieces.  If we were honest, a few of the items you just plain forgot they exist.

    As we began skimming down my wardrobe, I REALLY began to comprehend the theme of the mission: YOUR OLD STUFF HAS GOT TO GO!  I noticed that my tone turned from jovial to defiant. At first it began with an up beat, “I know you are going to make me give this away” LOL to a defiant “I am keeping this.” It almost came down to a battle of wills and my friend finally had to say to me, “Well if you are going to tell me what you are going to keep then why am I here”. Although it was all done in jest, we both meant what we said and stood our grounds. As a self professed pack rat, going through this process, I realized that we don’t recognize how attached we are to some thing until we have to let them go. And then we begin to have a war with ourselves justifying their purpose, while simultaneously, the reality of the truth is revealed. My turning point occurred when she said these awful words to me:

    When was the last time you wore this?

    OUCH! Did you hear that? That was the sound of my feet being stepped on. Do you know how bad that hurt? OMGosh! Really? Did you have to take it there! There it was staring me in the face, the reality that I had to face. The burden was then put on me to ask myself:

    Why are you holding on to something that no longer serves a purpose in your life?

    Needless to say she won with that point. So 3 hours and 4 HUGE trash bags later, we completed phase one of the closet inventory. Phase two would consist of downsizing even the more. Geez…

    After she left, since I was in inventory mode, I mentally switched from clothing to people. I began to think about an associate that seemed to want to hold on, I refer to these types of people as stragglers. You know those associates or former friends whose time has come and gone in your life but they linger around just in case they need you, so they can have access to you.  As I began to evaluate the situation, I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge the part that I played in this dragged out association. Deep within, I wanted to believe the best regarding this individual so I allowed access, believing for change; but in the end, the truth is the truth- if it walks, talks, quacks and acts like a duck- it’s a duck. So I had to make sure that I put myself where I needed to be, out of harms way. I remained cautious to stay in the vain that I was in and truly sever that connection. In doing so, I felt the peace that was long over due from this confusing tango.

    As you can imagine, I was feeling pretty good. I had de-cluttered my closet and my association. I was excited for the holiday festivities to begin. Then on Thursday, yes Thanksgiving Day, the straggler saga continued. As all the Happy Thanksgiving phone calls and text messages rolled in, I received a text from an ex who knows and understands why he is an ex; since we have two separate agendas, there was no need to reply. I don’t know if this was a week of testing or self evaluation but you can believe I was taking heed to the lessons.  This series of events reminded me of a friend’s post on Facebook that stated: I am getting rid of the “just in case”. He was referring to the stuff that we hold onto “just in case” we need it some day and that day never comes.

    I realized that a lot of times, we hold onto people, clothes, etc, just in case we need them. But what we don’t realize is while those people and/or things are in our lives, they are hindering the entrance of the new person, place or thing that God has in store for us. The old adage is true; you can’t receive anything new if your hand is full. From people to clothing, the lesson is the same, although their season in your life has come to an end it does not negate that they served a purpose, but at the same token, the realization that their purpose has been served and their services are no longer needed, must be acknowledged.

    Before the end of this year, conduct a life inventory, whoever or whatever has expired in your life, put it in its proper place. Set it free so that someone else can benefit from it: i.e. the clothes to Goodwill; removing the stragglers in your life that don’t bring you joy and peace; as well as not entertaining a conversation with someone whose relationship you no longer cherish, be selfless by setting them free to find the person who does.

    I pray that God gives you the strength and peace to make the decisions that you need to make to rid yourself of the ‘just in case” whatever it may be. Have an awesome week.

    Much love,

    Judi

    Written by: Judi Mason for www.elev8.com

    Contact: judi@divaink.com

    Visit website: www.judimason.com

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