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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up... Your Social Circle

by NoBeige 3 years ago in friendship
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Marie Kondo's rules around tidying up can be applied to a lot more than a messy living space.

Like many, I have been binge-watching the new Netflix series around self-help guru Marie Kondo's quest to tidy every living room in America. Confident, careful, and boundlessly charming, Kondo is brilliant at encouraging others to clear their minds through clearing their surroundings.

It quickly dawned on me that her principles should not be reserved just for our built environment, rather there is so much we can take from her lessons to implement within our personal lives. Here are a few of her sentiments and how they can be used to remove your life of some toxicity, namely people.

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

Just as the objects in our lives can reflect the type of person we wish to be, so should company we choose to keep. We are constantly going through changes throughout our lives, many of these changes also alter the very fabric of our identity. Our beliefs about our wants and who we are evolve, and often our friends can hinder these developments.

We have all been there when we take a moment to pause and think, realising that our friends no longer complement who are, or want to be. Friends might not understand or support our choices. Their words of 'advice' may no longer come from a place of concern, but jealousy or malice.

At these times you really do have to question whether the friendships you have aid you in living the life you have chosen to live? It may sound harsh but we may tend to hold on to relationships that no longer serve a purpose for either party. Space is vital, and in real terms, it may be better for both of you to go your separate ways.

Holding on to individuals purely out of attachment and for fear of a future without them is unlikely to be a good idea in the long term. Idealising how things used to prevent you from developing yourself in the here and now and for the benefit of your future.

“There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway.”

Much of the reason we remain in contact with people comes down to investment. Investing time and love in others forces us to keep toxic individuals in our lives. They no longer bring us joy, or support us in any fashion and yet we hold onto the past and the way the relationship used to be.

The above quote really resonates with me. Just as we tend to hold onto books that we know deep down we will never finish, we do the same with people. We know that the relationship will never be how it used to be. You've changed, they've changed, circumstances have changed and those moments are lost, and yet we cannot let go for the off-chance we are wrong and we cannot go back on our decision.

But what if you HAVE gotten all you can from that relationship? What if there was actually nothing more to be gained, and that is okay? Sometimes the relationships have already served their ultimate purpose and they were not meant to be forever. Few relationships are, and by ridding yourselves of the ones that aren't you can really start to focus on the ones that could be.

“Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?”

Going back to the book metaphor, wouldn't it be amazing if everyone who you surrounded yourself with were people you actually cared a great deal about? So many of us have individuals in our lives who fill us with dread. It seems totally irrational when you think about it. Why put yourself in such a dire position? It's important to remember that you do have a choice, even when it doesn't feel like it.

Knowing that all those who you allow in your life make you happy in whatever shape or form is a priceless feeling. One that is worth seeking out and working for.

“Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder.”

So you've de-cluttered your social circle! You are no longer left concentrating on stressful relationships, you can breathe and focus on more important things. By actively removing the obvious clutter you can finally have the space to take a good look at your life and address more core issues that you can change.

Without the negativity brought into your life by the people you have let go, you can finally make ways to grow and develop in the direction you want to. It's daunting, yes, scary, without a doubt, but most of all it's necessary.

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose...Let them go, with gratitude."

Letting people go, people who were once very important to you is hard. Even if the relationships have gone sour it can still be difficult. This doesn't mean however that you cannot acknowledge the joy they used to bring to you, and what you have gained from knowing them.

It is almost therapeutic to reflect and understand the role they have played in your life, and that letting go will mean a fresh, new exciting chapter.

Do so with gratitude, you will feel freer for it.

So that's the round-up of the fantastic lessons imparted by the ever wonderful Marie Kondo. Good luck with choosing people who 'spark joy' in your life!


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Avid reader, perpetually confused and always curious.

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