This past weekend I clutter busted with a family. They were arguing with each other over most every decision. One person would either want to let go of or hang onto something while another attacked their choice. The attack would make the other person become defensive. There was an explosive feeling in the room.
There was something going on under the surface that was more powerful than words. I was feeling everyone essentially wanted a chance to be noticed, to feel they mattered. It had probably been a long while since they felt heard by each other. Living that way generates a lot of hurt. Getting caught up in clutter, in the things that don't matter to our heart, keeps us closed off to our feelings and our connections with others. This takes a toll on us because we need to feel openness and connection to experience well-being.
I wanted to help each member of the family to safely feel they were being heard. When one of the family members got angry about another's choice and there was a defensive response, I repeated back both their positions. I said it with compassion because I wanted to echo back their needs with openness. I wanted to encourage their underlying desire to connect. When they heard what they wanted spoken back to them they became quieter and softer.
The more each family member felt they were being heard, there were less arguments over things. There was less reliance on the clutter of the loud bark of defensiveness and anger. They began enjoying each other's company. They became supportive.
It helps to notice the great chaos clutter creates in our lives and how much it tangles up our hearts. We lose perspective over what matters. We live from that hurt. When we honestly notice how clutter has made our lives topsy-turvy, we begin to lose our desire to hold on so tightly to these things that are the cause of our pain. Our attention goes from the pain to what actually matters: our peace of mind.