Today a blog reader wrote:
"Isn't it strange how guilt can be so ingrained in us that we need someone else to point it out?"
Clutter is very intriguing because it's often unseen. It can be an aspect of our behavior that happens often and goes unnoticed. A lot of us have been raised with guilt and so it goes unquestioned. We incorporate it into how we motivate ourselves and others. We believe that by feeling badly about a decision, we will start to make better decisions. But then our perception of things starts to change. We start to recognize that the guilt isn't actually working and it makes us feel defeated and exhausted.
It's weird at first. We don't want to go against the grain. But once we see the adverse effects that something is having on us, whether it's a behavior or a thing in our life, it's hard to ever see it in a beneficial light again. Clutter busting is a very personal experience. We are letting the opinions and influence of others fall away, and we are looking at our feelings about the thing in question. "Is this helping me or hurting me?"
With all the traveling I've been doing for my clutter busting book, I noticed that I was getting tired and overwhelmed. That created the fertile ground for some panic. I started thinking that I should make the most of it and hit the ground running when I arrived in a city and not let up. There was also a natural part of me that wanted to take it easy and explore and feel the cities and the experiences out intuitively. I was aware of the contrast between the two. When I took a closer look, I felt the should feeling, the guilt-inducing aspect was running on fear. I figured I was taught fear at an early age as a way to create incentive in my life. It certainly provided the energy to do things. But that fuel was adrenalin and it wore me out. When I took the slower approach, I was curious about things and I was having fun. This allowed me to function intuitively. I started making good decisions. I was rested and much better in action.
I think our lives are aching for this kind of personal introspection. It's hard to try and manipulate our lives, or push ourselves through resistance. It might be weird at first to question our approaches to how we do things, and to be honest with ourselves about the things we've placed in our environments. But as we do it, it starts to feel normal. We become more sensitive. The feeling comes back into our lives. That experience is very fulfilling. The "why am I in this situation?" falls away, and we begin taking care of ourselves.