Beautiful and positive and valuable

At Thanksgiving we give thanks for everything in our lives that is beautiful and positive and valuable. We look around us, really think, and feel gratitude for that which enriches us.

Unfortunately, sometimes we have to look past or psychologically climb over a lot of things for which we’re not so thankful to get to the good stuff.

Decluttering our lives

Years ago, when Vicki Gabereau still had her wonderful show on CTV, she had a guest who specialized in helping people declutter their lives. This woman, and how I wish I knew her name, advised people to only keep things that are beautiful, or positive, or valuable. This includes clothing, furniture, art, even friends.

At the time, I looked around myself with new eyes and discovered that I was keeping a surprising amount of stuff that was ugly, negative and not really very useful.

Let’s say, for example, that you have a great aunt Myrtle who had a habit of telling you things like, “You would be beautiful if you lost 30 pounds.” And let’s say that Great Aunt Myrtle gave you a rather unattractive painting for your wedding. You hang it on your wall—in case she drops by. But every time you walk by this painting, your stomach churns, you think, “What an ugly painting,” and you feel somehow not quite beautiful. Who needs that kind of energy in their lives? Take the painting down and put up something beautiful.

Feeling the warm glow

Over the last while we’ve been going through the process of cleaning out my mother-in-law’s house after her move into long-term care. This process involves the heart-wrenching work of deciding what to keep, or not. As we cleaned, we came upon my mother-in-law’s old typewriter that she used to type up her favourite recipes.

Both my husband and I have spent our careers typing and writing, so a typewriter is not a piece of equipment with which either of us would part easily. Then add in that it belonged to his mother, a woman we both adore. Then add in that she had typed all her favourite recipes on it (she made the best shortbread cookies on creation). We knew that we needed to keep that typewriter. We put it on a special table in the corner of our dining room, and every time I look at it I feel a warm glow.

What do you feel?

Go through your belongings. Pick each thing up. Does your stomach churn? Get rid of it. Do you feel a warm glow? Keep it and put it in a place that feeds you. Do you have no strong reaction? Well, if something doesn’t do anything for you one way or the other, do you really need it?

Make Thanksgiving easier

Clear out the negative clutter and move in what is beautiful, positive and valuable.

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