Emotional Decluttering

I spent the summer consumed  by someone else's drama. Trying to help a person who either didn't want help or wasn't ready for help. Or both.

But this isn't about that person. I've spent too much time focused on that person. This is about me. 

I remember in my younger days (boy does that make me sound old) how much I wanted to be involved in everyone's business. I'd sit on the phone for HOURS talking to one friend about what the other friend said and then I'd go back and talk to the original friend again...and on and on. And I wasn't the only one, all teenage girls did it. 

{This reminds me. I really don't want E to be a teenage girl. But I digress.}

This characteristic was a part of me for many years (high school, college). I don't know exactly when it changed, but it did. 

We all have drama in our lives. Some more than others, some self-inflicted, some through association with drama-filled people. 

And some people thrive off of it. I am not one of those people.

My journey with minimalism began with decluttering my physical space. I'm slowly doing more of this and have a fun announcement coming next Monday regarding this. But minimalism doesn't end or begin there. There's so much more, including mental minimalism and emotional decluttering--clearing out my "internal" space. 

I struggle with this. Mainly because I want to be a good friend. I want to be there when people need me. But I need limits. There's a difference between offering support and getting sucked into someone's pessimistic orbit; to be consumed by a person who thrives on negativity. 

But, I did just that. I got caught up in someone's negativity. Their unhappiness became mine. I wanted to fix the problem.

There were two issues with that.

1. It wasn't my problem to fix. I was trying to help a situation that wasn't mine.

2. The person didn't want the help, s/he strived on the negativity. And this person was not honest, with others or with his/herself. 

I don't have the energy or, more importantly, the desire to be wrapped up in someone's drama, especially when they don't want to be honest. And I'm done feeling bad about it. 

As a friend, I promise to listen. I promise to offer advice when it's asked for. I promise to support you when making difficult decisions. But I also need to make a few promises to myself.

I promise I will not take on someone's problems as my own.

I promise to step back if I feel that darkness overwhelming me.

I promise to not feel guilty if I need to step back. 

My emotional decluttering is helping to create a drama-free zone. It's a work in progress and I'm learning. But I must be doing something right because I feel better now than I did before.

Letting go really is freeing. 


xo Sara

P.S. Here's another time I wrote about friendships. And don't forget, if you want to see all my minimalism posts in one spot, visit my minimalism page. I'll also update it with other articles on minimalism that I find interesting.