You are enough. I often hear clients say, “I can’t throw this paper away, because I might forget about it.” As much as you might think it, paper isn’t proof that you’ve lived a good life.
I’ve watched people clutching old calendars with only a few entries, old newspaper and magazine articles they had clipped, recipes they’ve never made, and random notes that they literally couldn’t even decipher.
I wondered if they were concerned about medical memory loss from aging, but that’s not at the heart of their fear.
They are really worried about not being able to prove their worth. They are worried that without these paper scraps, they wouldn’t be able to rationalize how they spent their time! Were the decades worthless?
They wanted to be able to prove to someone, maybe to their spouse–maybe even themselves–that they did something important once upon a time.
This is a shocking realization to me, but it makes complete sense. Men often use their salary as their yardstick to measure their worth. They get a report card every two weeks called a paycheck. But many women–even career women–use a different yardstick, and they may not even realize it.
Paper Isn’t Proof – You Are Enough
Friends, YOU HAVE WORTH. And you don’t need a pile of clutter to PROVE that you have spent your years raising your family, improving your home, building a career, taking care of your spouse, supporting cherished causes, changing your community, helping your ailing parents.
Your value comes from God, from being a unique individual different from everyone else. Your value is in your heart, not in your things.
You don’t need a paper trail to quantify how you spent your days. You have skills, expertise, and experiences that make you special in a way only YOU can be.
Keep the photos. Cherish the memories. Celebrate where you are right NOW. But don’t hang onto old papers, mail, files, expired coupons, old traffic tickets, and scraps just because they prove that you used to do or know something.
Set yourself free. Replace your internal voice that uses an unrealistic measuring stick. Replace that voice with this phrase:
Paper isn’t proof. You are enough.
If your old papers are no longer useful to the person you are RIGHT NOW, then let them go. What’s the worst that could happen???
Celebrate what you’ve accomplished in your life by ENJOYING your life. You can’t do that if you are constantly and tearfully sorting through piles of paper clutter.
As the saying goes, you can reach for new blessings in your life, but only if your fists aren’t clenched, holding onto your old life.
YOU ARE ENOUGH. You’re living a full life. Fill it with memories, not scraps of illegible notes and yellowing papers.
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If you are looking for help with getting organized and getting out from under your paper piles, please contact me directly about in-person or online organizing help, wherever you live. Appointments may be virtual, but results are real.
originally published 2-14-2020