"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill
Yesterday, I forced myself to finally deal with ridiculous piles of clothes in my room. After scrummaging through boxes of clothes from high school and (I hate to say it) middle school, I hit a block. An hour in, I started to realize the emotional attachment I had developed to unused clothes. It shot me back to my parents divorce when I was younger, to all the big life changes that occurred after that. Memories that happened in my favorite shirt and all. It was overwhelming. After a sudden move with my family, these boxes stayed un-opened, collecting dust in my closet, taking up unwanted space. My life felt cluttered and stuck, these useless clothes reminding me of good and bad times. It didn't make me feel at home or at peace with my space. Honestly in my heart it didn't feel right that I had the option to let these perfectly good coats, pants, and shirts sit and not be put to good use. I have more than enough to give, and there are a lot of individuals out there who don't even have the option to change their clothes the next day or stay warm during the cold winter months. So my mission? Go through every single article of clothing and ask myself this:
Have I worn/used this within the last year?
Could it provide comfort or joy for someone else?
How many of this one item do I need?
After answering these questions (it wasn't easy) and two hours later, I had three black trash bags of clothes that were ready to make a new life and provide a layer of love for someone else. A weight lifted off of my shoulders. The emotional attachment I had before melted away. My life now felt ten times lighter. Give just to give. No strings attached.
Was there a time in your life where you needed support and someone helped you, no strings attached?
Lets take a walk on other side. Imagine a time in your life where you may have been struggling (work, money, stress, life in general.) When an individual gave you a helping hand because they wanted to. They didn't want anything in return! It was pure love and support. Those moments are everything. We carry them with us forever.
We develop emotional attachments for whatever reason. Maybe because of the trials and tribulations in my life, my clothes were the one thing I could control or keep with me. We have plenty to go around but we sometimes don't remember that others don't have those little luxuries. So as the holiday seasons are passing through, and life encourages you to buy, buy, buy, I share with you the idea of letting go. Letting go of the old/unused as we bring in the new. It will go a long way. I hope the coat that kept me warm finds its way to a new friend who needs it so much more than me, sitting in box, collecting dust.
Also remember, all the animals at your local shelters, animal leagues, sanctuaries, or in your neighborhood need our help. Food, blankets, toys. There are so many fur babies out there, dying for our love and time. So, ever thought about volunteering or fostering?
So where can I donate this season, or any season?
Bake for others.
Donate canned/non-perishable items to a food pantry.
Write a letter to a stranger expressing how important they are.
Volunteer wherever you felt led.
Take time on the weekend with family or friends going through clothes or whole rooms and donate. Have a party!
Put together a fitness class with a cause (donation based) and pass on the love.
Straight up financial donations.
Spend time and step into others shoes. Walk along side of them. Hand in hand.
LETS GIVE LIGHT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!