I got an email this morning from someone who is feeling the pain of having the clutter in their life, and at the same time feeling stuck in the pull of their stuff. He wrote:
"Too much stuff! Papers, magazines, furniture, old electronic things, home and garden stuff, etc, gathered over the years has become a ball and chain that I'm finding really hard to get rid of. I want more freedom, and less things to deal with. When I have gone to Europe for a while, I just forget about all the stuff, I think, "Who needs it anyway? It's not necessary at all!" But when I get back, the stuff seems to have a power over me! I cannot make the big switch needed to just start tossing a bunch of it into the recycle bin. I am looking for help on how to make that switch and change."
It sounds like you are at the precipice of letting go. You've been noticing how uncomfortable it is to be surrounded by things that are no longer serving you. But the pain of it hasn't been great enough to break the spell of hypnosis that your things have over you. You say this when you write, "The stuff seems to have a power over me."
Pain is a great motivator. It's a flashing red light that says, "Change me now!" It indicates that something no longer fits. When we are nine and our toe is pushed up against the front part of our shoe, it hurts. It's time to toss the shoes, and get one that fits. Life is simpler then. We let our parents know and they take care of it.
When we become adults, we have to make all our own choices. We get overwhelmed because there are too many things to take care of. So we begin to get numb to the pain indicators of the need for change. We acclimate to them. We become aware of them now and then. You are aware when you write, "I want more freedom and less things to deal with." But you are overwhelmed when you write, "a ball and chain that I'm finding really hard to let go of."
A lot of the people I meet are living under similar circumstances as yours. They have clarity about their clutter situation, but they don't have the compulsion to do something about it.
To feel compelled is a powerful sensation. If you notice something on fire in your living room, you immediately do something to put it out. How do you make yourself compelled to let go of things that, "are not necessary at all?" Part of it is realizing that you do feel an intense pain living this way, but your mind has dulled the sensation, the flashing red light, so you can continue going about your day. But if you were to plant the pain you are feeling into someone else, it would be unbearable.
Some part of you knows this feeling in yourself. But it's obscured by all the distractions that engulf you. Since it's not addressed, it does damage. It's hurting you. That pain is the motivator to do something about it. It is a fire, and it is burning up your life. Your life is worth saving and restoring. Starting is the restorative. The feeling of renewel is immediate.