Many people who experience stress and emotional difficulties often find it difficult to move on and to break their patterns of behaviour because they’re simply not prepared to ‘de-clutter’ their lives and just as cramming things into a bin until it overflows, if you don’t remove the clutter, in the end it will be at breaking point where no more can be fitted in.
What Exactly is Clutter?
Clutter is anything in your life which you no longer have a use for, you no longer love or anything which has become totally disorganised. It manifests itself as physical aspects within your environmental surroundings and also emotionally and spiritually, where issues that have caused you pain in the past have still yet to be resolved (or de-cluttered) and disposed of. Anything which you consider to drain you of energy can be classed as ‘clutter’.
Spring Cleaning of Your Mind and Heart as Well as Your Environment
From time to time, we all get around to spring cleaning our homes. Some are better at this than others who only decide to do it when it’s simply impossible to find anything or they can’t move about the house freely without bumping into some old junk.
However, for many of us, we’re not so good at clearing out our hearts and minds from time to time and this can cause us great stress if left unchecked.
What we must remember is that life is an evolutionary process and is constantly changing. New things, ideas, people and ways of looking at the world will enter our lives from time to time and others may leave and it’s crucial that we have an occasional emotional clearout of all the things which we no longer love or have a use for to make room for other things to enter our lives.
Most of us will be used to the idea of throwing out old items we no longer have use for. Perhaps, you might have loved those old green flared jeans at one time but will you ever wear them again? Even if long gone fashions return, the chances are you’ll still buy a new pair so, from time to time, we all have to clear out our wardrobe and other areas of the house where we’ve accumulated stuff that, to us now, is simply junk we no longer want or need to make room for newer, more exciting stuff. Remember, that old Breville sandwich maker, for example?
In spring cleaning the house and de-cluttering your physical living space, it is often a good time to combine that with getting rid of the things in your mind which you no longer have a use or need for. From time to time, we all have negative feelings which we harbour from our past. They could be feelings of low self-esteem, feelings of failure, of sadness and loneliness, of worry and fear and these can often just sit there festering in our minds, having never been resolved. And, as each negative experience comes along, it just adds to the weight of all of those other bad feelings we’ve been carrying for years, adding to the weight until it’s almost impossible to carry. The eventual outcome is hardly worth contemplating. It can lead to drink and drugs problems, an inability to form proper loving relationships and can lead to many mental health problems along with other physical ailments too.
Ways of Dealing With the Negative Experiences
Just as you’d throw out an old item of clothing you no longer have use for, you need to also take an inventory of your heart and soul from time to time to see if that, too, needs clearing out.
Take time to think back over recent experiences of the past year or two. Identify the most painful experience you’ve had. What was the event or mistake that caused you so much pain? When you think of this now today, what feelings does it trigger in your mind? Then, acknowledge it happened, forgive yourself for any part that you might have played in the event then release it from your heart and mind – simply, let it go. If it plays no positive role in your future progress and happiness, then it’s time to get rid of it.
An example might be an item of clothing that we no longer like or use but which sits in our wardrobe. As we buy more clothes, this old ‘relic’ is still taking up space and a hanger and if there are a few of these relics, then it’s often difficult to find the new clothes we want to wear which we feel represent us as we are now. Similarly, if we stay in a relationship we know isn’t working simply because we’re afraid to not be in a relationship at all, then the more time we spend with that person, the more we’ll end up resenting them which completely saps us of our energy. This can also result in other symptoms such as lacking inspiration, low motivation, a sense of obstacles being placed everywhere in our path and just a general ‘bogged down’ feeling.
And, although it may not seem as simple as just throwing an old sweater out, by letting go of the people of our past who are no longer here or whom we only feel resentful towards, we make space for the people of our present and future. This creates the space for new friendships and relationships, new ideas and often a whole new way of life.
In ridding ourselves of the clutter, no matter how difficult that may seem, the outcome is usually extremely bright with us getting to enjoy more energy, a renewed enthusiasm and zest for life, clearer priorities and a better understanding of ourselves and of what’s important to us as we move on to the next stage of our lives.