She torched her wedding gown!

I often get lovely emails from viewers of the show ‘neat’ in which they share their journeys and success stories with me. Here’s one I received today that made me smile, and I wanted to share it (with permission) because I feel many can relate…

Dear Hellen,

I moved to my 1-Br apt. 3.5 years ago, after living in a 2200 sq. ft. split-level house for almost 19 years. My 22.5 year marriage was over. I had trouble downsizing. As I stared at boxes piled in my new living room & bedroom, I found your “Neat” TV show. Over the next few weeks, I watched about 7 episodes and often found myself crying. I saw myself in your nuggets of wisdom & wrote down your quotes.

One year ago I was able to mentally let go of my beloved iron & oak park bench. It will be physically moving to a “good home” this spring.

I finally decided to sell the rocking chair that I worked so hard to refinish 23 years ago. It represents a (rare) “Finished Project” for me.

I loved my wedding dress. You should never love the dress more than you love the man, but I did. Years after my wedding, I found in the bottom of my hope chest a torn-out page from JC Penney catalog of a white wedding dress NEARLY IDENTICAL to the ivory dress that I bought at age 26. I was 12-13 when I saved the picture, then forgot about it. That’s how much I loved my dress at first sight.

(I had thought about donating it but it had pop stains on it. I never had it preserved because I wanted to be able to look at it once in a while. I was really attached, I guess.)

Fast-forward to 2 years ago. I took the dress to my dad’s back yard, draped it over his burning barrel and took pictures of it, front & back (Cluny lace, long train, high neck, long puffy satin & lace sleeves, Princess waist, satin & lace, “The Works”). Then I sprinkled lighter fluid over it & lit it on fire. Gradually, as I lifted it into the barrel & took a couple of pictures, the dress was consumed by fire as my sense of peace, relief & letting go increased. The dress had to go and I needed to watch it burn. The marriage was finally over and so was the dress and everything that it stood for. I can’t tell you how great that felt!

I have you to thank for my new ability to let go. I still have moments of procrastination, but I am able to separate myself from a lot of items saved from my past. I am feeling much “lighter” and happier.

Thank you so much, Hellen. You have changed my life for the better, forever.

(Name withheld by request).

If you have a success story you want to share, please use the comment section below (or email it to me privately if you don’t want your name revealed).


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