Everything in this life is about being in relationship. It consumes a lot of our time and energy. To paraphrase an old nursery rhyme:
When relationships are good they are very good and when they are bad they are horrible.
Good relationships are mutually satisfying and enriching. They are a wonderful dance of give and take. You get out of it as much as you put into it. It’s the bad ones that can be a huge source of clutter in our lives.
I’ll bet that there’s at least one relationship you currently have that falls into that category. You know, the person whose calls you always want to screen. A relationship that creates tension or stress. Maybe it’s one that exists out of guilt or persists in spite of boredom. Bit by bit it drains the life out of you.
We all know they are not healthy, so how is it that we end up cluttering our hearts and minds with relationships like that?
I think there are a couple of reasons. Somehow we convince ourselves that all relationships are meant to last a lifetime. But that’s just not true.
Some relationships we simply outgrow.
Some relationships were never healthy from the get-go.
Sometimes we think because we are related to a person or have known them forever, that we have to keep investing in them.
The other reason is we are afraid of what will happen if we clean our relationship house. We might hurt someone’s feelings or don’t want to deal with the anticipated drama if we say adios.
Here’s another way to think about it.
How you treat your relationships is all about respect.
If you are in a relationship that is too tarnished to keep, then let it go. It’s disrespectful to continue the facade of a relationship that doesn’t really exist. Some relationships don’t have to get tossed completely. Maybe you just need to create some more space in them. Be kind, gracious and respectful and take a giant step back. When you let it go, there’s more space for your relationships that are mutually satisfying and enriching.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on relationship clutter.