Decluttering Your Soul: How to Free Your Mind and Heart in the New Year

I vaguely thought of doing a new year’s resolution post a few days ago, and decided against it. Partially because so there are so many already out there. Mainly because I’m so bad at keeping new year’s resolutions that I’ve pretty much stopped even trying to make them, at least in the traditional sense.

For the last few years, instead of trying to add in something new each year, I’ve tried to simplify life a bit and shed some of the layers that prevent me from being the wife, mother and Christian I want to be. With so many things competing for attention in life, I think this process of decluttering your soul is important not only if we want to have be meaningful presence in the life of our loved ones, but also if we want to be personally fulfilled.

Decluttering Your Soul in 3 Simple Steps
1. Identify your priorities. I don’t mean the task-oriented priorities, because these change all the time. I mean the underlying priorities and motivations that define your life. I try to triage everything into the following order: God first, family second, everything else third. In the “everything else” category, I try to be realistic about my expectations and what I can achieve to avoid unnecessary frustration.

2. Let go of unnecessary stuff. It’s OK not to be everything for everyone. When life does get too crowded, some things from the “everything else” category have be let go of, or at least put on the back burner for a while. Things like spending too much time online, or watching too much TV, cramming in too many after school and work activities, or trying to keep up with too many hobbies. It’s always hard to do, but I’ve never regretted the times I’ve stepped back from social media or let projects rest for the sake of having more time to be with my husband and kids and being able to do well the things that matter to me most.

3. Live in the truth. This gets rid of all the worries about ourselves that come from being afraid of how others perceive us, beating ourselves up for real or imaginary faults, or over exaggerating our own importance, whether for good or ill, in a given situation. If we are able to primarily recognize our value in God’s eyes and secondarily maintaining a mature awareness of our own faults so they don’t destroy us behind our back, we can live simply and freely.

Sometimes less is more. Remembering our priorities, letting go of a few things, and living in the truth before ourselves and God can significantly free up our minds and hearts for the things that really matter in life.


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