What to Burn & What to Keep
By Patia Braithwaite for BounceBack.com
My ex-boyfriend recently sent me a box of stuff. The items were varied: some of the items were his while others were mine. Most of the items, however, were things I'd given him: DVDs, scrabble, books, journals, and gifts.
Related: Breakup Etiquette: What Your Ex Should Not Ask of You
Getting your ex's stuff back is enough to make anyone insane, but it also presents a unique learning opportunity. When relationships end, you feel compelled to organize the events in some logical way -- you try to find lessons to make sense of it all. Faced with a box full of items I didn't want, was a tangible way for me to reframe my feelings and thoughts about the relationship. Making choices about what to keep and what to do with the stuff left behind was, in essence, a physical mirror of my emotional process. So here are a few tips:
Donate: if you have items that you can't bear to look at, consider passing them on to someone who will benefit from them. Donating clothes, games and other items will bring good times to someone else, AND good karma to you.
Related: Let Go of Love,Hold on to the Lesson
Repurpose: Design Maven Michelle Breschen suggests using CD's to mosaic the surface of a table. Think about it? You're ex's favorite CD's broken into bits and glued to your new patio table is an awesome way to turn anger into something beautiful. His favorite t-shirt might make an awesome dust rag. Repurposing is another great way to turn pain into positivity!
Sell: This is pretty self explanatory. Much like repurposing turns your pain into something positive; selling unwanted items turns your pain into cash! A few extra dollars is perfect for helping you continue your intense retail therapy.
Burn: Many therapeutic rituals involve burning and watching items transform. Consider (safely) taking a few paper love notes, movie stubs, cards and burning them. You might also consider writing your ex a note and burning it along with the other items. If you decide to do this, be safe, and steer clear of burning large items that could put you and your entire neighborhood at risk. Burn responsibly.
Keep: I gave my ex a watch. He sent it back to me. I'd like to open his mouth and shove it down his throat. Instead, I'm going to put it in my jewelry box until I decide what to do with it. Perhaps I'll have some of the links removed. While selling it or donating it would be appropriate, one of the biggest things I'm learning is that it's okay to hold on to good memories. I truly enjoyed giving my ex his watch, and I enjoyed watching that reaction. You don't have to erase all memories. Keep the good ones and walk away with your head held high.
Patia Braithwaite is a freelance writer from New York. Check out her blog at www.menmyselfandgod.com
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