Rather than getting rid of stuff, I’m getting rid of the attachment to the idea that I need get organized, clean out and get rid of my stuff.
Just like trying to have the perfect body because somebody profits from selling you something that will bring you that perfect body, there’s someone now who wants to clean your closet, organize your home, sell you a book that makes you happy by cleaning out a closet. Oh, yes, for a price. All this emphasis on organizing, cleaning out and getting rid of things causes more anxiety to an already over anxious life. Do we need more anxiety in our lives? We might not need more stuff but we absolutely don’t need any more anxiety about who we are and what we “should be” doing and are not.
While visiting Cambridge recently, I walked through a Harvard Square book shop. There were no less than twelve “help you organize, de-clutter your life and live happy” books. We all seem to have too much stuff and want to clean out our lives by getting rid of the excess. But “Who has time to clean the garage, storage, office, storage area, spare room?” What these books do is create guilt when we buy them and don’t do the ten easy steps prescribed in them.
I decided at that moment to love my stuff, all of it, and to love that part of me that would like to clean out stuff but hasn’t.
Rather than feel guilty that I have crammed drawers, closets and bureaus, I am using a method I use when I work with women and weight. My belief is you must love your body to take care of it with healthy food. It’s the same with stuff. Meditation teaches to love and allow all parts of ourselves, including stuff we’ve collected and the part that would like to clean a few things but doesn’t. What’s the alternative? Do we want to continue to feel guilty that we are not cleaning the closet?
As a therapist I know inner anxiety of fear, jealousy, sadness, grief, and the gamut of human emotions sometimes makes a person feel out of control. In some cases, when we control our environment, we create a feeling that we are in control of something. This is an external solution to an interior difficulty, the anxiety remains and comes out in other ways and other times.
Using present moment to love our attachment to the idea that we must organize and clean and rid of clutter. Loving ourselves is most difficult in the places where we would like to criticize ourselves for our lack of doing something. Breathe in and embrace of all that you are, Breathe out guilt. Breathe in love of yourself, breathe out fear you are not enough.
Live in peace with yourself and all that you are.