Good Tuesday morning to you. No, this post today is not about the 1982 hit song from John (Couger) Mellencamp. I’m not using the pair of names that was made famous by that song to refer to real people; I’m just using them to represent an anonymous couple. I want to tell a story today that may not initially seem to be about cleaning up life, but it is.
Jack & Diane were a young couple who fell in love outside of high school. They married at the young age of 20 in what seemed like a true love story but it was not. Diane soon left with her college professor to start a new life living with an older man. When this took place 20 years ago Jack was so heartbroken that he spent most of the next 20 years still waiting for Diane to come back.
He still had in his car the very first gift Diane gave him on their first date. It was a peace sign pendant in the shape of a heart that till this day looks like it was pulled from the trash in the ‘70s. Yet Jack keeps it there to remind him of his love for Diane. Diane has moved on with her life; she and the professor are celebrating their 15th anniversary soon and they have two teenage girls. Jack once or twice tried to go on a date but those women left after the first hour or two when all Jack would talk about was Diane, and would show them crazy things like the heart shaped peace sign on his car mirror, or the high school photo he still carries in his wallet. Jack has become a single lonely man.
Now you all may be saying how sweet Jack is in his love for Diane. Some of you women may even be thinking you wish you had found a Jack as you have been left by a man or two in your life. The truth is the way Jack has acted is unhealthy and he should instead have mourned the death of this relationship then moved on with his life. I know men who have had to grow past the loss of their wife – maybe to caner or other illness or accident; they had to learn that they are still alive and they have moved on to date others and worked to build a new healthy relationship. Diane has chosen to move on while Jack has been holding on and keeping things he should have let go of more than 16 years ago.
So back to our topic for this week of cleaning up and cleaning out. You may be thinking I’m going to tell you to let go of all those people in the past. Well, in our lives many of us have things that we have been saving and holding onto for one reason or another in our lives. I was up in our attic this past weekend and looked at all the boxes we have saved in case we needed them. We have a box for our computers, boxes for our TV. Then I looked through the garage and I noticed we still had motorcycle chain oil – for a sport bike we no longer even own. We have so many things that we really have no use for anymore; we should have gotten rid of them or given them to someone who could have used them before they spoiled.
Too many of us in life will hang onto things that we have no use for anymore; we hang onto things that are not coming back. If we cleaned out our lives, in many ways we would be able to make room for those things that are searching for us. Imagine if Jack had just taken those things from his car and stored them in a box, then tried to take longer and longer times before opening that box. Imagine how those dates might have turned out when he finally made the attempt to build another love life. The first few dates might have been hard, but after a bit he would have learned that maybe a better love life was out there for him.
If you were to clear the space where you are keeping those things that are taking up room in your home, or that you are storing in your attic, garage or basement, would you have room for things like maybe a workshop in your garage to build the wooden furniture you always wanted? So many times I see people who hold onto so many small little things that they waste space they have and keep themselves boxed in a small world.
Imagine if you were so in love with food that each time you went to the store you bought all the extra food you could afford, but you could not eat it and it would spoil; then it would become nothing more than trash. When I was younger I had a love for cars. My dad taught me how my love for cars could become unhealthy, how to use it for its purpose first. I took that lesson and applied it to life, learning not to hang onto things when they no longer had use just because I wanted them around for some reason. I found out that holding onto it brought on other problems.
In your life, is there purpose? What have you been holding onto in your life, from things to thoughts to people that you must let go? If you are ready to live a life you always dreamed of it’s time to make a list of those things you need to clean out. Don’t waste 20 year of your life holding onto something that’s gone and never coming back.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach; it’s time to live your dream to love what you do and those you share life with. Let go of those things that are holding your dream life back and become the RockStar in your world.