I wanted to share an email from a blog reader that has some amazing insight:
"You've mentioned something that I have sometimes felt after getting rid of things - sadness and sometimes fear. And, yes, that's exactly what's happening in the first place with stuff/clutter; it's covering up emotions so you think you're not feeling them. So it only makes sense that when we remove the fort, we're going to feel vulnerable.""
"I think that may be a reason why it is difficult to get started. Ultimately you have to face the emotions and it can be painful even if it's not clear what they are specifically. The exact thing that is going to make you feel good, can at the same time make you feel bad. It's only temporary and the payoff is big. It is very helpful to be reminded of this."
"Clutter is like a heavy lid on a big ugly box that is full of things you don't want to feel. The feelings can't escape AND you have to look at the ugly box."
Sometimes it seems like clutter can be a guard dog barring its teeth and scaring us off from taking a closer look. We can get intimidated by the feelings that clutter brings up for us and stop the clutter bust.
I was working with a client recently who recoiled from some old journals that she'd been keeping in her closet. The emotional pain she felt when coming into contact with her old writings made her want to run the other way. But my experience is the pain is a threat, not an actual experience that can hurt us. It seems like it will. But it's an illusion. When my client didn't run, and took a look at what was in the journals, the threat went away. She was actually peaceful. She saw she didn't need the journals and she let them go.