The Happiness Connection  

Thank what you give away

During your life, you have opportunities to experience what it is like to be on opposite sides of a similar situation.

You’ve been both a child and an adult. You may have been both an employee and a manager or supervisor. If you are a parent, you will also have been parented.

Most times, your experiences of two sides are separated by time. When this happens, it is more difficult to remember what it was like when the shoe was on the other foot.

Recently, I had the opportunity to experience a situation from both sides with virtually no time in between.

Our house has been on the market. It is a typical 1990s style home with some updating still to be done. We love our house.

As everyone kept telling us, it is a buyer’s market. House prices have dropped, and purchasers are looking for a good deal.

As a seller, the money you get from your home is important. It provides the financial security for the next phase of your life. Add emotional attachment into the mix and you may find yourself seeing a low offer as a personal insult.

We received an offer that was much lower than we hoped for. We began negotiating. It was emotional. We believed the house was worth the asking price and they didn’t. Maybe they did, but regardless of how they felt, they didn’t want to pay it.

At the same time, I began looking for a new home. I found what seemed like the perfect place. It was also built in the 1990s and dated. Getting it for a good deal became the goal.

While trying to decide on an initial offer, thoughts of the people who wanted to buy our home came into my mind. As I struggled to choose a price that suited my budget, I remembered how we felt about the low offer and counter offer we received.

This awareness gave me a new perspective. I was selling a home emotionally and buying one logically. I loved the house I wanted to purchase, but I didn’t have any real attachment to it yet.

Emotional attachment can make financial transactions and major decisions much more difficult. It can also make minor decisions seem major.

This thought was re-enforced as I watched my dad struggle with a decision of his own.

My father is no longer driving and is ready to sell his car.

Correction: he knows he should sell his car. The price doesn’t really matter, but somehow, he feels that if he gets a good amount for it, the loss will hurt less.

I doubt there is enough money in the world for that to happen.

I believe that my dad will begin to heal his sorrow of no longer driving once the car is sold. But I’m not him and I can’t guarantee that will be the case.

Only he can make that decision or take that journey.

Watching him struggle with the process of getting rid of something that has such an emotional attachment has mirrored my own process of downsizing.

Do I keep items that I will never use again, but that I am emotionally attached to? Or do I let them move on to another life with someone who will benefit from them?

That is a decision that no one can make for me. No one can make these types of decisions for you either.

What they can do is help you be aware of your emotional motivations. If you know they exist, you can work with them rather than letting them be in control.

When I sort through my belongings, I plan to be rested and calm. I intend to allow myself to feel the emotions that surface, but not to let those feelings control my decisions.

I am going to take a suggestion from de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo. She advises that you thank each item you decide to give away or sell.

This is my intention, although I’m not sure how successful I will be. I’m willing to accept that it will be a process with a learning curve. Wish me luck.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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