So Why On Earth Would Someone Want To Trash A Never Worn $3.5k Wedding Dress?

So why on earth would someone want to trash a never worn $3.5k wedding dress? Am I mental? Well probably, but that’s another blog post.

We have to go back to the very beginning……

I guess we should start with the fact I was actually engaged, had the ring and everything – I wasn’t living out a real-life Muriel’s Wedding scenario, I promise.

Then it ended.

Wrong man.

Wrong everything really.

You see I had done what many a woman and man have done before me, I’d picked a partner with similar traits to someone important to me, and if I’m really honest, it was probably about ‘saving’ them.

Yep, I was engaged to an alcoholic, just like my father.

Did I actually even want to get married? I honestly don’t know.

He asked. I like parties, and I wanted my mum (who was ill & living with us) to be ‘mother of the bride’ before she died.

So, I chose a bridesmaid, schlepped around frock shops with my mum in tow and chose ‘the dress’. Once I got over the shock of the price and the terrible thing they do with bridal sizing, I placed the order.

Needless to say – and I’m sure you don’t want to hear all the stories. My mother died, I broke off the engagement, cancelled the venue, etc. and got on with life.

The dress was still there though.

Next stop, do what many people do – pop it online and sell it. Sounds so easy. Well, it’s not.

A couple of years later and the dress was still there, literally ‘hanging around’. People has inquired. People had tried it on. I’d dropped the price. NADA.

Then I decided I’d gift it to one of those amazing charities that make gowns for still born babies from wedding dresses. Hello Covid. Neither of the charities I could find were taking donations anymore. So there it still hung.

Fast forward to about a month ago, and I had a wake up and I decided to trash it.

What was I thinking? All the bad juju. Who would want to buy a wedding dress that says, ‘never worn’? Gives me bad love feelings just thinking about it.

I messaged my closest friends and asked them over. Didn’t tell them what we were doing, simply asked that they wear something that can get dirty and that they think about a belief or habit, etc. that they want gone from their lives. I did tell my darling daughter Elodie who thought it was a great idea, but I was a little crazy. Takes one as they say.

Bring on the day.

Champagne. Food. Friends. Fabulous weather – totally perfect.

When we were seated, I explained what I wanted us all to do.

Then we all got into it.

SO therapeutic.

A combination of tears and laughter followed.

We took permanent markers and wrote all over the top layer of lace as well as the underneath satin and tulle. We ripped it. We were all in.

I won’t say what my friends wrote, in fact I only saw some of them, and all I will say is mine revolved around love, money, health, boundaries and career.

‘F doing things for others’ was my final scribble on the tag of this Kenneth Winston masterpiece.

Then came the ‘trashing’.

We hung the dress on the tree in the front garden and all took to it with 24 different colors of acrylic paint. Paint brushes. Splotches. Water balloons filled with paint.

The final dress is to some a piece of art. To me it is a symbol of the love of lifelong friends and the cleansing of ourselves – each in different ways.

Obviously, I had to make a cake to match the dress and the theme, you should have seen me throwing icing at the cake to mimic the dress earlier that day. Hilarious.

The champagne flowed and we were all at peace. Everyone had gotten something out of this event.

Am I sad that I never got to wear this dress? No. Funny thing is it would have been way too big for me now anyway.

In so many ways trashing the dress was what I believe to be the best thing.

A couple of weeks later, and I am no longer in that new unhealthy relationship, I’ve put better boundaries up with some people and am on track in business.

The proof is in the pudding so to speak!

So, what is the point of me sharing this?

Well, I believe (as do many others) that we can only bring good into our lives when we clear away the negative, the detritus of our lives.

What can you trash, throw away or give away to make way for something fabulous?

It’s even better if you can make it ceremonial in some way.

If you do anything exciting, please let me know. Tag me on social @samanthaleith so I can see what you’ve done!

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Having Fewer Expectations Can Help You To Be Happier

Having Fewer Expectations Can Help You To Be Happier - Samantha Leith

Expectations can have a huge impact on your happiness.

Have you ever felt resentment towards a friend who hasn’t returned a dinner invite after you’ve hosted them for the last three catch-ups? Or have you ever dressed up and felt really, really great, just to have your partner say nothing? Or given really great advice to a friend, just to have them ignore you and carry on the path they were on? The trouble with these situations is that your expectations of how people and situations should be are causing you negative emotions and are getting in the way of you feeling great.

Expectations are a strong belief that something will happen or be the case. Not hoping or dreaming for something, but anticipating an outcome. When expectations aren’t met, especially when they involve other people, it’s an absolute killer. The expectations breed resentment and frustration and these ultimately impact your feelings. The only person suffering is you.

So which expectations do the most damage?

Wanting People to Like You

There is no use wanting people to like you. As the saying goes, you may be the greatest peach in the world, but some people simply don’t like peaches. Not everyone has to like you. It doesn’t mean you’ll be rude or unkind to them, but don’t spend your energy trying and expecting everyone to like you.

Wanting People to Change or Follow Your Suggestions

This expectation can cause much frustration and even resentment. Unless a choice impacts you directly, then it’s none of your business. If people were going to change then they already would have changed and for the most part, how people live their lives has nothing to do with you.

Let go of them, let go of the expectations. Give you advice freely and let people live their lives.

Wanting People to Know How You’re Feeling

This one is common in relationships. No one is a mind reader and you can’t expect people to know how you’re feeling. Use your words; don’t expect anyone to know your feelings.

Wanting People to Treat You Exactly How You Treat Them

This expectation so often is not met. The irony of this is that a lot of the time people are mirroring the way they see you treat yourself and then this is how they treat you.

So the next time you question why someone is treating you in a particular way, hold that mirror up to yourself and question whether you’re treating them better than you treat yourself. This can be powerful to acknowledge and change.

BENEFITS OF HAVING FEWER EXPECTATIONS

There are enormous benefits to having fewer expectations, especially when it comes to the people around you. Fewer expectations will improve your relationships with close family and friends and most importantly, with yourself. Other benefits include:

Living More in the Present

Fewer expectations will mean that you’ll no longer be perpetually wondering about what’s going to happen in the future. You’ll engage more with the here and now and live more in the present. You’ll also probably enjoy yourself more because you won’t always be expecting certain outcomes.

You Get Nice Surprises!

If you spend your time getting all dressed up and are complimented without the expectations of praise, it’s a lovely surprise and will probably make you feel better than flattery you expected.

No More Resentment or Frustration

Resentment is a poison that eats away at you and it’s easily created by unmet expectations. Constantly expecting people to behave in a certain way can cause resentment if they don’t fully meet your expectations. It can damage your relationships and ultimately make you feel bad.

Expecting people to change, behave in certain ways or even follow your advice can be frustrating. Changing your expectations means less frustration and won’t lead to resentment. It’s that simple!

A Sense of Peace

Fewer expectations protects you from a lot of negative emotions. In addition to resentment and frustration, you’ll no longer feel disappointed in people who don’t meet your expectations. This comes with a sense of peace, because you can freely support those that you care about without feeling negatively about whether they’re delivering what you expect.

Additionally, you’ll come from a peaceful place of knowing that the world doesn’t revolve around you. When we expect something of people or situations, you’re assuming that you should be at the center of their universe, because they should be doing the things you think, say or act, according to the rules you’ve set. You’re assuming your opinion is correct and should matter the most to them.

Letting go of all of this will give you a sense of peace. Your relationships will improve and you’ll enjoy moments more because there’s no pre-conceived pressure on them.

So, have a look at your life and ask yourself what you’re expecting from people and situations. Ask yourself what negative emotions stem from unmet expectations and especially examine closely how you’re being treated and whether that results from how you treat yourself. Ask, examine and then do the work to undo and reduce those expectations.

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