What I Found While Cleaning Out My Filing Cabinet

Life lessonsI recently took a little time to clean out a large filing cabinet that I’ve had for several years. You may be thinking who cares what she found. You could be thinking how does this relate to my life. Keep reading don’t give up on me just yet.  I have long since switched over to keeping electronic copies of documents to save paper (tree lover part of me). I found all kinds of forms, notes, and worksheets I had forgotten about. I also found things that I never got around to using. I saw documents that I use all the time. I am a student of life. I learned so much more than just about where all the stuff in my filing cabinet had been. Below I shared a few life lessons I learned along the way while cleaning out the filing cabinet. (It’s the little things, we can learn at every opportunity).


Keep only the important things

Often we hold onto way more than what we actually need. Things in life don’t make life meaningful, people do. It’s the relationships, family, and friendships that bring joy. Click To TweetIt’s the little things that make life exceptional. I found that I had extra copies of so many things. I told myself to hold onto the extras “just in case.” When you fill your life with the just in case type of attitude constantly you miss out on the true moments right in front of you. Filling your life with the just in case attitude prevents growth. Holding on too tight just in case leaves little room for you to experience true happiness. I had copies of copies of copies. I only needed one original, not 15. (I back stuff up of course)  All that extra took up way to much space. How many times have you let unkind thoughts take up space in your head? What would happen if you let it go?


Put a name on it

Generally, I consider myself a well-organized person, however over a period of time things can get out of order. Sometimes in life emotions get out of order. Learning to identify (label) your emotions helps you understand yourself more. Understanding your emotions can help you respond better. When you label your emotions it helps to center yourself. It’s not just about saying “ I’m mad”, but really looking under that emotion. Call it what it is. Label the emotion I am disappointed. I am hurt. I am pleased. I am well. Labeling helps you put emotions in order for you. Labeling also helps you to know what emotion you are dealing with, and then you can start to decide what you will do with that emotion. For items that I did not label I would have to spend extra time looking it over. I had to find out was it valuable enough to keep or let it go. How often have you miss labeled an emotion only to find out later that is not what it is or not worth holding onto?


Looking back is good

I looked over all the files, forms, worksheets, handouts, scrap pieces of paper and so much more. I also saw past conference information, planning ideas, and many other great points of reference. As I stood there looking at the pile I thought I have been through a lot. You have been through a lot too. You have overcome a lot. You still have work to do! It’s okay to reflect on the past; just don’t live there. Click To Tweet Moving forward and making progress is what it’s all about. We learn from the past. Don’t ignore the past, just don’t setup camp and never leave. (If you haven’t got it yet I am saying keep it moving).


Bonus:  You can’t take it all with you 

I guess I could have kept the 15 copies, I could have saved the “just in case docs”. I could not have opened the cabinet until the next time I needed something but what fun would that be? When we take the time to go a little deeper, dive in deep and get the hard work done we come out on the other side so much better. You may not always float to the top and sometimes you may even end up a little battered and bruised by from the journey however it’s worth it. If I never took the step to face that filing cabinet I would not have a fresh start. I would not have learned the lessons right away and I would still be holding onto a lot of mess that I didn’t need. Make room for goodness in your life!

Key takeaways:

As you can see I learned so much more about life and not just the things that I had accumulated over the years. There were no lizards, silverfish or uneaten sandwich. However, there are so many lessons that came from that filing cabinet. Key things to remember:
  1. If you don’t need it let it go
  2. Label it so you know what it is your dealing with
  3. Reflecting over the past is good; just don’t stay there.


Reflection questions

What is something you have held onto for far too long that you are ready to let go?


Experience this kind of personal growth by contacting us at @ FHC.

Flourishing Hope Counseling PLLC is a Kingsville, Texas Private Practice.

Photo above by yours truly!