Starting Fresh 15: Relationships

Each blog post until the end of the year, I will focus on a particular area of clutter, to help guide you in removing unwanted things, activities, and people from your life. The goal is to start 2013 clutter free!

Today's blog post is about clutter busting relationships: friendships, romantic relationships, business relationships, and family.

A healthy relationship is one of the best experiences. It feels wonderful to be vulnerable with another person, and feel safe and uplifted. Healthy relationships are some of the real gems in our lives.

On the other end of the stick, there are relationships that are caustic to your soul. You're connected to a person, but you suffer in the connection. It's not that the person is bad, it's just that the combination of who you are and who they are is discordant.

It helps to take an honest look at the relationships in your life to test their health.

1) Think of a relationship in your life right now that's nurturing and supportive. How does it feel when you're with this person? Do you feel closeness, however you define that? What does it feel like in your body when you know you're going to see them? A supportive relationship typically makes us feel excited, positive, joyful, calm, and loved. This is your standard.

2) Think of any other relationship in your life right now. How does your body feel when you think of this relationship? Think of the last time you spent together. Was is pleasant? Was it uncomfortable? Were you happy? Bored? Irritated? Belittled? Again, you're not looking at any traits about the person, you're looking to see how knowing them affects you; how it feels when you're connected to them.

3) No relationship is perfect. They're all mixed bags. You may really care for someone and feel very good in their presence, but on some days, maybe one of you feels "off" and it's hard to connect. Or maybe you feel scared about being open and vulnerable around that person. What I'm getting at, however, is how you feel on a deep level about this relationship, as a whole. If the answer is "pretty good," then this relationship supports you, and you're a lucky person. If the answer is "not good," then go to step 4.

4) Clutter bust relationships that don't support you. On some level you feel like you need this person in your life and you may feel very attached to them. But if being connected with them means you suffer in some kind of way, physically or emotionally, then the relationship is clutter for you. Notice that I don't say the person is clutter -- it's the particular relationship you have with this person that doesn't work. In fact, you could tell the person that you want to clutter bust the relationship and build a new relationship that works for you, and if that person is open to it, you have it made...just let yourself check the new relationship to make sure it's really changed. In some cases you just might want to clutter bust the relationship and not offer a new one.

If you're worried about the harshness, remember that you don't have to say what you want harshly. You can explain how it's you responding right now to this person, and not blame them. If you want to go deeper into clutter busting relationships, I recommend you read my second book, Clutter Busting Your Life. 

Please write and tell me your experiences clutter busting people; it helps inspire others when you share.

If you have trouble and get stuck, feel free to call me at (310) 903-1041 to arrange a phone clutter busting session.

Also, if you find yourself benefiting from this Starting Fresh Clutter Busting Workshop and you want to show your appreciation, you can make a donation through the donation button on the upper right sidebar.