At Be Happy in LIFE, we think weekends are the best time for garage sales. And we do not mean just your normal garage sale. In fact, for this garage sale you do not need a sign on the side of the road and you do not need buyers, yet at the end of this particular garage sale, you will feel great and have reason to celebrate.
On weekends, you may see many signs on the sides of roads inviting you to garage sales. If you have ever had a garage sale at home, you know that there is a lot of excitement for weeks in advance while you prepare for the day. You look through all your old items and you slowly start to say goodbye to them, convincing yourself that you no longer need them.
Sell what you do not need and feel good
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be
– Lao Tzu
Some of the items may be too old and no longer match your new style. Some of the items may be too tight or too loose and no longer match your figure. Other items may take up too much valuable space in your house and you know that if you get rid of them, you will clear up that space. Some items need fixing, but you do not feel like fixing them and would rather start fresh. Other items may not have been used for years so you get rid of them in the hope that others may enjoy them. What they all have in common is that you just do not need them anymore.
Ask any person who has ever had a garage sale and they will tell you that it takes a long time to prepare for one, and sometimes it is hard to say goodbye to some items that you think are close to your heart. Still, in the end, you meet some wonderful people, you make some money and you feel hugely relieved afterwards. You feel fresh, clean, light and free.
Emotional Garage Sale
From time to time, we all need a different type of garage sale, a garage sale that has no signs, a garage sale that has no buyers – an emotional garage sale.
Just like a normal garage sale, an emotional garage sale happens when you simply decide to get rid of feelings, thoughts and beliefs (FTBs) that you no longer need, in order to be the new person you are or the new person you want to be.
It will take time to prepare for an emotional sale too – it will be a challenge to say goodbye to those old FTBs that are close to your heart. But, just like a normal garage sale, once you do, you will meet wonderful new people, you will probably earn more money and you will definitely have a great sense of relief and freedom.
If you have feelings, thoughts or beliefs that are too old and no longer match your new goals, relationships or new style of living – the new you – then you can let them go in your annual emotional garage sale. You may even choose to have your sale quarterly or even weekly. Some FTBs you may want to be rid of are: “I do not have enough money”, “I am frustrated”, “I am lonely”, “I can’t …”
Many of your FTBs make you stressed and you may feel strangled by them. Stress is not something you want in your life. Sometimes, it is the only feeling you are familiar with, but letting it go will make you feel great.
Other FTBs make you insensitive, uncaring or powerless. Some examples of such FTBs include ones that overuse the words “should”, “could”, “have to”, “must” or any others that place expectations on you that are too great, like: “I must finish this”, “I should have done that better” or “People must behave like that”.
Then, of course, there are feelings, thoughts and beliefs that mean you do not care enough about what happens to you. You do not believe you can change. You detach yourself from others. Examples of such FTBs include: “Who cares!”, “It’s not my business”, “I can never change that”, “I am like this and there is nothing I can do about it” or “It’s your problem, not mine”.
If you want to clear up some valuable space in your mind, you can get rid of FTBs that draw a lot of energy from you. Such FTBs keep you awake at night, damage your immune system, damage your relationships, damage your self-esteem and limit your success in many areas of your life. If you clear them out, you can regain some valuable space for sleep, energy, vitality, happiness, confidence and success. Examples of energy-draining FTBs include those related to fears, regrets and anxiety, like: “I’m scared”, “I wish I had known that before”, “How was I supposed to do that?”, “What if I don’t know what to do?”, “It’s not my fault”, “It’s all because of my childhood” or “If my boss wasn’t such a bully, I’d probably do better at work”.
Just like when you keep something for a long time, always meaning to fix it, but never getting around to it, there are some feelings, thoughts and beliefs that you hold on to just because you think that “one day” you will be able to deal with them. Holding on to these broken FTBs only makes it harder to say goodbye to them over time. Yes, you could work hard to improve your relationship with the negative people in your life. Yes, you could work hard to do absolutely everything your boss requires. But at the same time, you could just let go of these goals and dedicate your energy to making new relationships with positive, supporting people or to finding a job that better matches the lifestyle you wish to adopt. Remember, when you tell yourself “One day I’ll …”, this is a sure sign that you are in need of a garage sale.
We have garage sales because we have things sitting in the garage that, for whatever reason, we have no use for anymore and we just do not need them. In much the same way, we have feelings, thoughts and beliefs that we have received from our parents, our teachers, the media or even from past experiences. We no longer need them because we are older, we are much more mature and we have more experience or we have new and different circumstances and desires. The longer we keep the old FTBs, the harder it is to let them go. We think they are part of who we are and we are afraid that we cannot survive without them, when in fact, we would be much better off without them. Examples of FTBs we may have that we have not used for years include:
- “I’m too small” (probably a thought from childhood, from when you were really small). Let it go. You are not small anymore.
- “I don’t have enough money” (a thought most people adopted when they were children and did not earn any money). Let it go. You earn money now, you can earn more money later, you always have money, but you need to choose what to do with it and prioritize how you spend it.
- “I’m not good at …” (applies to anything we have not done before). Let it go. Change it to “With practice and determination, I can be good at anything I want to do”. “I’m a failure” is one of those negative thoughts that we always hold onto but we do not seem to remember nearly as well the times we have been successful. For example, you may be in a good relationship for some time and you feel great, but then when something goes wrong, you think, “I always fail at my relationships”, forgetting the successes you have also had. Just because you fall over one day, does not mean you will fall over every day. The past is only a representation of the past not of the future, so let go of it!
Why carry clutter in your mind?
We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us
– Joseph Campbell
An emotional garage sale is really just a metaphor for personal development. It takes time to work and develop yourself, but if you treat your development as a life-long process of improvement, it will improve your position. You will make new friends on the way and probably even earn more money than you thought yourself capable of.
As you all know, letting go is a challenging task, but when you do finally let go, you lift a huge burden from your shoulders and you feel lighter and freer.
Birthdays, holidays and weekends are the best days for garage sales, because on these days you have more time to assess where you are and where you want to go. If you clear the internal “garage” every week, it will probably not take you very long, but if you leave it to do only once a year, it will probably take much longer and be much harder.
So, you do not need a sign on the side of the road to have your garage sale. All you need is to make the choice to let go of feelings, thoughts and beliefs that no longer support the journey towards the new person you are or the new person you want to be.
Just let go!
With blessings of happiness,