By Liza Caldwell
As Beyonce Says, “Ring Off!”
Although the legal dust has settled and you are officially “divorced,” you probably realize that your process is not quite complete. Things are still messy and unclear; that’s because you’ve not yet arrived at your final destination, your stabilized AFTERWARD. You are recovering from this life altering event, reassessing and rebuilding yourself as an independent person, and you realize you actually have limited resources. You have limited time, strength, mental space, and even material things. Often, this is the time you are looking for ways to free up your life even more, to rid yourself of unneeded baggage, to streamline. And so inevitably there comes this question. The one we ask you now: why are you holding on to all that stuff anyway?
Why are you holding onto all that stuff anyway?
Yes, there’s the emotional toil, the grief, the anger, the loss that must be contended with… but what about the symbols? Certainly ask yourself this question about your engagement ring or other things your ex may have given you. Why are you holding onto them? Pause for a moment before you answer. I encourage you to write down your answers so you can consider them. I know, because I myself had some very good answers that genuinely (well, sort of) held water:
Maybe my daughters would like the ring (but really, why would I send out that karmic message?)
It was kinda pretty (it wasn’t what I would have chosen, to be frank)
It was my “You Never Know” (I hadn’t hit that point yet where I’d have to hock my jewelry. Until I did.)
I have heard better reasons: “It was his grandmother’s, and she would want me to have it,” or “It was custom made, I love it.” Admittedly, that last one is rare.
It’s okay. Throughout history, jewelry has done this for us, for women. We’ve been given it, we’ve adored it, we’ve cherished it, it’s helped us cross borders. It’s a currency when we can’t access cash. It has literally saved our lives, liberated us, as we sewed it into our hems, kept it next to our hearts, swallowed it with hope.
If you don’t keep it, what could it do for you instead?
Wipe clean a credit card debt?
Be on a gondola float in Venice?
Buy a flight to see your oldest girlfriend?
Are you not sure?
Why not find out the real value of the stuff under the bed? By all means, hang onto it if you like, but do make that decision from an informed place, not one of mythology. Know the real value and cost of hanging onto something. With your jewelry, you can do it with Worthy, or with any GIA or IGI-certified jeweler for that matter. (But make sure s/he is certified.) I myself like the easy method of sending things off to the universe, to have them valued, a la Wor-thee, then I can decide what to do with it, and perhaps it circles back to me in the form of a check!
Here’s something I learned the hard way
While I am here, allow me to share the biggest thing I learned (— I did in fact sell my engagement ring and other trinkets for a worthy cause, the final semester of education of my daughter.) Here’s the deal. The truth is we tend to romanticize the value of these trinkets. We expect we’re going to get as much out of them as they cost in the first place. You won’t, I am sorry to say. The price you pay originally includes the design time and artistry that went into the piece. When you go to sell, they really only look at the value of the stones and metal themselves. The point is, you are probably not going to get what you think you are going to get for it. I just want you to mentally prepare yourself.
So if you find it difficult to give up, ask yourself what’s really going on.
Finding it hard to part with it? Think about it for a moment and you may realize it’s not just about the ring.
It’s about the loss. You are here in this place, reading this post for a reason. Forgive yourself. Love yourself! What we find working with women who struggle through this stuff is that you are probably hanging onto certain things, vestiges of another time, because you are in mourning. You are mourning the real loss of another lifetime or story you told yourself. Who you used to be. You have likely deferred dealing with these kinds of issues for good reasons, but now you are starting to lighten. You are starting to declutter, you want to live cleanly. You are choosing and purging. You are deciding how you will live going forth.
You are starting to believe there is real possibility for your life, you are operating now out of this place of inspired thinking. You realize carrying around hardware from an old chapter sounds heavy, when really it could be letting you move and groove and fly.
Get scrappy. Go creative. Not just with jewelry, but with papers, files, events, recyclables, and the questionable people in your life; start choosing only what is worth keeping. I have never heard a woman say she regretted offloading the things that were weighing her down.
About the Author
Divorce coach, Liza Caldwell is the Cofounder of SAS for Women®, a stand-alone action resource, providing strategic coaching, a specialized education, and emotional support for women around the world. Visit SAS to claim your six free months of coaching delivered to your inbox or to take advantage of this connection with a complimentary 45-minute consultation.