My client said, "I couldn't take all the craziness from the clutter in my house, so I went outside and a voice inside me said, 'You can let all that shit go.'"
I said that was a great realization. It didn't come from me or a book, it came from her.
My client said, "But, it's so uncomfortable letting go."
I said that's because an unconscious part of us has fingernail gripped on to these things and it doesn't want to relax enough to question it's motives. But basically it's only initially hard to go the other way. Once you get passed a few uncomfortable moments, it gets easier and you start feeling better.
She said, "I have a piece of art that was made by my father. The thing is, it has my old name on it that I don't use anymore because I don't like it. Plus the art represents a job I had in the financial industry that I quit because it was giving me a nervous breakdown. This thing bothered me so much that I've been hiding it in my closet for years...But I should hang on to this because it's from my dad. He made it for me. I can't get rid of it, right?"
I said anything that partially makes us feel good, at the same time hurts us is clutter. There's no true justification for being hurt. The pain takes its toll and makes us miserable. There's no halfway point where it's okay to knowingly hurt ourselves. When something in our environment causes us physical or emotional pain, we are diminished. It makes us less available and capable of enjoying the things we love in our life.
My client began to cry. She said, "I can't live that way anymore. I don't want to do that to myself." There was a feeling of calm amidst the tears.