We think products will make us happy. We're sold this idea through marketing on the Internet, TV, billboards and magazines. Almost everywhere we look ,there are advertisements telling us we need something else to be happy.
So we end up believing that we need the stuff in our lives or else we'll be miserable. I see this in my clients, because even though they've hired me to help them, there's an aversion to taking a look.
It's like there's this fear that, "If I look at these things and let anything go, I'm going to lose something that's making me happy. If I look honestly at the people in my life, the activities I do, and the stuff in my home...and then let any of them go...I'm inviting misery."
Even though, at the same time, there's a feeling that my clients all share. It's like, "I have too much stuff. I've got clutter. I don't feel good when I come home. I hate looking in my closets, I hate being in my living room. I don't like hanging out with that person. I don't like doing some of the things I'm doing in my life."
I told this to a client the other day, because she was telling me about how stuck she felt. At the same time, she didn't have the energy or inspiration to let things go. She was suffering as a result. I told her that we've been tricked into thinking that all this stuff is like a savings account. We think we can't get rid of it, because then we won't be happy. It's like we believe it's a "happiness savings account."
The irony is, it's not working! This so-called "happiness savings account" seems to make people miserable.
The same client was complaining that she can't do the creative things she wants to do because she can't get to the things she wants to get to use in her creative efforts. She felt so uncomfortable in her home. At the same time, she was afriad to let anything go.
I told her, "What's going to help is being really honest with yourself about how much pain this is actually causing you. That's the 'finger snap' that gets you out of the hypnosis. To recognize, 'I'm not happy with this friend. I'm not feeling good when I wear these clothes. I don't like doing that activity.' It's like if you stepped on a nail by accident, you'd go to a doctor to take it out. The pain is really clear."
There's this pain that happens as a result of living with things that are no longer supporting you. The reason you don't notice it at first, is that it happens slowly, over time. Also, you got tricked into doing it to yourself. You got tricked into thinking that you'd be happy with your savings account of stuff.
The more honest you can be with yourself about the pain, the better off you are. This stuff isn't working to make you happy. The happiness savings account doesn't work. Happiness arrives in the present moment, and we can't hold onto it. But it never comes if we're holding onto something else.
Don't worry if you have a hard time clutter busting on your own. Many people have read both of my books and still need personal inspiration and insight. Contact me if you want to set up an appointment.