I've been thinking about what it means to make ourselves small. Not living with less, but reducing our voice and our presence. This comes from a feeling that it's safer to be smaller. The more unseen and unheard you can be, the less the world can hurt you.
Living amidst clutter helps us be small. We're hidden from view. There can be a feeling of comfort in hiding behind the walls of stuff. We can feel protected.
But it's also a difficult life. There's restriction. The flow of life is greatly diminished. Your body and mind feel stagnant. You lose excitement about life's opportunities.
I've made myself small at times. It was usually when I was feeling physically or emotionally overwhelmed. I was scared and vulnerable, so to get some relief, I subconsciously hung on to things that lost their purpose in my life. Or brought something in that didn't serve me. The presence of these things reduced me. I temporarily felt safe.
What made me clutter bust myself out of those situations was that it hurt too much to be smaller than my nature. I craved being full size, or feeling alive again. I was inspired to remove the reducers, whether they were people, things, or activities.
I've learned from this to take better care of myself so I wouldn't feel the need to shrink. I try and stay aware of how I'm feeling, and my relationship with what's in my life.