Yesterday's phone client was telling me about the different rooms in her home. She was in a pretty good mood till she told me about the papers in her kitchen. When she talked about those, her voice sounded choked up. I suggested we work in the kitchen. She let out a very loud, "Oh, God!" She surprised herself. She said, "I can feel the resistance."
She said stacks of papers had taken over the dining area. The presence of these papers made her so agitated that she was pacing in front of them. At the same time, she said a part of her felt that she needed them. I said that clutter makes you think it's your friend and that you need it, but it's a guise.
I knew she had cats, so I asked if she liked her cats. She exclaimed, "Yes, I love my cats!" I said that certainty and elation is the measuring stick for something being a part of her life. I pointed out that when she talked about the papers, she sounded depressed and exhausted. I said nothing is of value to someone when it takes their vitality.
She was convinced and we began to go through the papers. She found a bunch of old family letters. She noticed they were negative in tone. But a part of her felt that she should keep them. I asked her what she would do with the letters. She sadly said she didn't know. I said that described her current state, holding on to a bunch of papers that she felt trapped under.
Suddenly it became clear to her. She realized she could say no to things she didn't like. It wasn't the letters decision. It was hers. It was her home. She tossed the old letters. We continued going through the papers with this new momentum.