Finding Clarity

Here's a question from a blog reader, "When you're clutter busting alone and you find you are having trouble trying to decide whether something is clutter or not, how do you know when you want to take a break and be kind to yourself, or if you are being resistant to letting go?"

This reminds me of a recent clutter bust with a phone client. She was feeling stuck about a nightgown she inherited from her mother who had recently passed. She said she liked how the nightgown reminded her of her mother. At the same time it gave her pain because she remembered her mother wearing the nightgown when she was sick and dying. She didn't know what to do.

I said it's hard on our hearts to live with something that makes us feel good and hurts us too. Feeling good opens our hearts, and the painful part comes in and and hurts us most deeply.

I said we'd take a break from the nightgown and work on something else. We clutter busted some emotionally lighter items and then came back to the nightgown.

My client had some space to think more clearly about it and said it was too hard to live with the nightgown because it made her feel deeply confused and hurt.

The point is, it's okay to take a break. Maybe you need a chance to rest and recharge. The great thing is you come back rested with more clarity and see how you feel about the object.

If when you come back, you still feel like you are having a hard time making a decision about whether an item is clutter for you or not, it's worth noticing the uncertainty. It's an uncomfortable feeling. Part of you is saying, "Yes" and another part is saying, "No." It's like there's a mini war going on inside of you. It's hard to live with something that causes you both pleasure and pain.