Fortress of Stability

Sometimes we get this sense that whatever is happening now will continue happening. We know there will be changes, yet we think life will basically bring the same things tomorrow. I had been feeling this way recently, but this week was eye-opening for me.

One of my friends was planning to visit her dad, and he died. She was devastated.

One of my clients said she'd gone in for routine surgery and flatlined during surgery, then came back to life.

I started thinking that this general assumption that things will continue as they are -- is a big lie. The people in our lives, we assume they will be there tomorrow. But there's no guarantee. From the time you say goodbye, it may be the last time you ever see them.

It's not just an idea -- it's actually true. And it's scary.

I think sometimes we hang onto things that don't serve us because they gives us a feeling of continuation and stability. Even though we don't use the clothes or eat off the kitchenware or open the storage locker, there's this feeling like "I'm safe because I've got these things." The world can change outside of us, but we feel protected in here. It's like a fortress we've built against change.

The thing is, difficult events are going to happen regardless of the fortress. Meanwhile, living within the fortress anesthetizes us so we don't even know all this is happening. And no matter how big or well constructed the fortress, it doesn't really even protect us from the pain of the things that actually do happen. People's houses do catch fire. They're burglarized. People die. People get sick.

So my experience from my own life is that it can seem like a scary proposition, but it's true that removing the things that aren't serving you anymore makes you more vulnerable to the world and to your feelings. It also makes you more flexible, and in that way, more safe. But clutter busting doesn't increase or decrease change. Life still does what it will do, whether you clutter bust or not. And the truth is, even in your fortress, you're getting hurt by the world -- just alone and without even yourself to hug.