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Childhood souvenirs - 24th May 2019
Do you still have your old teddy tucked away somewhere? In this blog post I consider the difference between fond reminders of childhood, and clutter that you are better off without. It's not always obvious which is which.
Firstly, I need to make it plain that I am not against people keeping objects which have strong sentimental value. Far from it, I have items of my own in this category.
However, I do think it is important not to fall into the trap of assuming that because a toy was once well loved that it still has the same emotional value to you as an adult. Inanimate objects can easily become a reservoir for unexpressed emotions. If you are considering whether or not to keep that old teddy, or whatever, then I recommend you tap into your emotional experience of your childhood.
If you have a few childhood possessions you are not sure about, the best thing to do is to get them out, sit with them and handle them. Do they make you feel happy? Do they make you feel sad? Do you sense some kind of deep regret, perhaps? The thing is, as much as you may have loved that teddy, it might now represent the fact that he was your sole companion in an isolated childhood, for example. Perhaps teddy was a gift to you from a family member who otherwise was not very kind to you? Do you see how by association your teddy is a source of negative energy? At a very subliminal level you will be conscious of this, and may well feel torn as to the fate of the toy. If you have shoved the teddy into the loft, this is a possible indicator that you are in two minds as to how you feel about it. If your only feeling was one of fond association, then you would be more likely to have the teddy out in the open, as it were!
When you uncover sadness, it can be hard to part from the source of it. You might even feel tearful just thinking about how you can do this. Tears are not always a sign of connection, they are just as likely to be about the reservoir of sadness that you sense is invested within the toy. This is your sadness, quite possibly that you didn't express when younger. It's OK to let that out now. In fact I positively encourage you to cry. When you are done, you will find it much easier to let go of teddy.
Be gentle with yourself around your feelings. Wherever possible seek out a kind way to let go. Whether it's exactly the right charity shop, or to a children's nursery or via a car boot sale where you get to meet the new owner - go with what feels right in your gut.
School reports and school photos
There seems to be some kind of unwritten rule that these are things we should keep for posterity. The reality is that this is an entirely personal decision. When my sister and I cleared our mother's bungalow I came home with a bundle of my old school photos and reports.
I looked at the reports once and shoved them in a cupboard. When I got them out again I took another look at what teachers had written about me. I was not impressed, and got the distinct feeling that they had never really understood me. Did I want to be reminded of that? Not at all! The whole lot went in the recycling. The photos didn't last too long either. As a youngster I was painfully shy and anxious. When adult me looked at these old photos I could see the discomfort, so I let them go.
Would you like some guidance?
This is a challenging topic, to say the least. Things not always being as they might seem. If you would like some support as you negotiate your emotions and preconceptions, then please do get in touch. I work remotely via Zoom, so it doesn't matter where you live. Equally if it turns out you live just down the road, then I can visit you in person to assist. You can also call me on 07850 580802 for a chat to decide how I can best support you.
Keywords: childhood, emotions