In my feng shui consultations, I'm constantly asking questions about the cherished and not-so cherished items (artwork, furniture, wedding gifts, inherited objects and the like) I see as I walk through a client's home. I remember a woman who had a painting of a sad hobo walking on train tracks that was hanging in her dining room. I inquired about the picture because it seemed out of place and didn't go with her style of decorating. It surely wasn't a joyful picture to look at while eating a delicious meal. She sighed with frustration and said “My dad painted it for me so I thought I should put it up but I don’t like it.”
After hearing her should explanation, I took the painting down and said, “Don’t display this out of guilt.”
It's important to keep only the items you love and make you happy! You must decide if you want a space that inspires or depresses you. Allowing other people to influence your space can create negative energy that you might not be aware of. Below is an excerpt from Feng Shui Your Life that may offer more clarity.
Three questions for you:
1. How many items do you keep in your home because you genuinely love them?
2. What percentage of your belongings have you inherited or been given but don’t really love?
3. Are you displaying items out of guilt?
You may be holding onto objects because you feel that you should. It’s time to take control of your space. Just because somebody gives you a gift doesn’t mean that you have to like it or to display it. You're not showing a lack of respect for them or loving them any less if you decide to put it away because it’s not your taste. Genuinely expressing your gratitude to the giver can be enough.
Every time you look at the sweater your sister-in-law bought you that isn’t your style, you feel guilty for not wearing it. Or perhaps you inherited a picture that your father painted. You feel indebted to him and even though you don’t like it, so you hang it up. The problem is that you wince every time you see it, which depletes your energy.
The solution is to take it down, store it, or give it to someone who will love it. If your parents visit once a year, you can always hang it back up for that short period of time. The same applies to every book, candle, vase, painting, and artifact that's been given to you. If it doesn’t make you happy, let it go or, at the very least, put it away for a while.
Give yourself permission to “let go” of unneeded and unwanted items that deplete your energy and take up room in your home. It’s time to unleash yourself from the “shoulds” in your life. If you're the master of your domain, you must take back the reins and create a home that liberates you from the past. You can offer your items to siblings, friends or donate them to a good cause. Of course, you can also sell them online or in a garage sale.
Join me in the “guilt-free and loving it!” club. You'll be amazed at how much more energy you will have as you relax in your home.