Using the two words, “Giving up” immediately brings to mind the act of quitting. (Which is an accurate definition, of course.) Most of us think of giving up as an act of failure, as in quitting doing something we just can’t seem to conquer. Quitting a diet comes to mind because dieting often becomes too disciplined a course to stay on so we give it up. One may quit a job. One may give up on a personal challenge. These types of giving up are a matter of feeling defeated, so we give up!
The kind of “giving up” I am referring to are of the positive nature where quitting something brings about a better state of living. The first thing my husband and I gave up was our monthly television service because the monthly stress of calling our provider to find out why there were ALWAYS fluctuations and additional fees in our bill finally became an insurmountable irritant. We finally “gave up” their service, bought an antennae and contented ourselves with around 8 channels, a couple of which we rather liked. Our personal life improved immediately. All the negative aspects of television were gone, including the horrific 24-7 news channels! We began to view movies from Netflix and Amazon and were more than content with our viewing. Hallelujah to kicking them to the curb! Peace reigns once again as we listen to a vast array of beautiful music stations on our internet radio, all selected to our personal taste.
Giving up Facebook was a much more difficult decision to make because it was a very convenient and efficient way of communicating with friends and family from all over the country. It was fun to reconnect with people I have known throughout my life, to catch up on the news and lives of so many I cared about. It took several years before I realized how much of my life had become immersed with those far away, and less with those nearby. After several announcements on my part about leaving fb, followed by failed attempts to give up this habit, I FINALLY succeeded. What helped me to give it up was when I realized that the less I posted, the less I saw my friends posts because it is set up this way with facebook. Eventually, I was seeing mostly ads and very few personal posts from my friends. The magic was gone, and so finally, was I. Occasionally, I will go on line to check it out, but, then rediscover how few people are interacting with me anymore, which has really helped me “give it up!”
What else have I given up? Sugar in all its manufactured forms. My weight is dropping and I feel calmer, healthier, and more energetic. It wasn’t easy at first, but the rewards are enormous. The biggest benefit to giving up sugar is that my blood pressure is dropping! Yay!
Another relinquishing occurred when I gave up a few friends who were probably not friends in the true sense anyway….just friendly acquaintances. These are the people who will always respond to any invitation with enthusiasm and will always show up for anything you invite them to. They will be lively and fun in conversation, but they will never initiate a social get together with you. This seems to me to be a message. If you are always the initiator and they are not, then the truth of the relationship is that you are more interested in them than they are in you. It happens! But why perpetuate something that isn’t what you thought it was?
It isn’t easy to give up things, habits, or people, but you will find that once you give up something that does not serve you in a positive way, it is better to let go and you feel better because of it. Most actions we take are habits formed over the years anyway. Robin Williams, a brilliant comedian said, “It is better to be alone than to be with someone who makes you feel alone” when you are with them. Amen to that!
In the not so distant past, spring cleaning ones house in the north country was traditionally done in most peoples homes after a long winter of staying inside which caused dust and dirt and stale air to collect in a home because the windows were kept tightly closed against the frigid winter cold outside to preserve the heat within. Furnaces and fireplaces were actively burning wood or coal and there was always residual byproducts of this heat left behind. When spring arrived, the women of the house would throw open the windows to let fresh air inside and would begin their annual cleaning of all surfaces. Walls and floors were washed, blankets and rugs were beat with a broom to remove all dust, and windows were washed to a sparkling clarity. Nothing felt better than a house that had been recently cleaned from top to bottom.
Seasonal cleaning should occur in our personal lives as well. One needs to give up what does not work well for us anymore, We should assess all of our relationships and remove from our lives all who don’t share with us the same enthusiasm for fellowship and sisterhood. We need to ditch the costly, time consuming habits in our life that keep us from experiencing our authentic selves. Habits are very difficult to quit, but if you persevere, the reward is usually more than worth it!
“Cleaning, cleaning, I’m busy cleaning.
I am shedding people and things.
I am giving up what no longer serves.
It is amazing the blessings it brings.”