The source of holding on to clutter comes from feeling disconnected from ourselves. By ourselves, I mean that most basic part of who we are. Not what we do, or how we imagine ourselves, or what we wish we were, or how others see us. It's that silent basic-ness that's been with us since the day we were born.
We lose touch with that basic-ness as we grow up. We're taught that we are defined by what we do and what we own. We can't help but place our sense of security in these things. This makes us hold on tight. But our feeling of well-being ends up taking a hit because what we do and own comes and goes.
I remember as a kid, watching my mom and dad have an intense argument over money. They were saying mean and cruel things to each other. I wondered why they chose to sacrifice being kind to one another and side with their fears. They both sounded so scared.
We lose touch and we hold on. And because we've lost touch, we don't have the clarity to see that we're holding on to things that are not helping us. We isolate ourselves from what can actually help us.
What helps is noticing what we've lost touch. It's valuable when we feel tension in our body, and become aware that our mind is going haywire. These are red flags indicating that in some way we are attached to something that is not serving us. Noticing our reactions helps us come back to ourselves. It's calming.
The other day I was stuck in traffic. My first impulse was, "This is bad." My body tensed up. I became aware of my reactions. Things got quieter. Then I thought, "Well, I don't have to be anywhere. It's nice sitting in my car. It's quiet in here. The cushion on my seat is cozy." I saw some birds fly out of a tree. I felt like this is enough.