My client came across a piece of electronics that she’d been
hanging on to for fifteen years. It didn’t work well back when she originally
bought it. She no longer had a need for the item. But she felt that she had
some control in her life by hanging on to the item.
I said the truth was that the item had control over her. The
clutter in our life has control over us. It’s like being a slave to these
things. It’s as if we’re hypnotized to put our stuff’s needs before our own.
It’s not wrong on our part. It seemed like the right thing to do.
It went unquestioned.
For a lot of us, the things, people, and activities in our
life go unquestioned. There’s an assumption that they’re supposed to be there.
And then over time what happens is we start identifying with what’s in our
life. It feels like part of us. We protect what’s “us.”
That’s why it can be difficult to even take an honest look.
On some level it would feel like removing a part of your body.
I told my client that based on her actual experience, this
piece of electronics was not a living and supportive part of her life. It was
actually an intruder and freeloader. It wasn’t bringing her any tangible
benefit. It basically sat there, taking over her ability to decide for herself,
and wrecking havoc on her peace of mind.
I said it could feel strange at first to be this honest with
yourself. That’s because you’re not used to thinking of yourself as separate
from the things, people, and activities in your life. Society puts a lot of
value on what’s in our life. We judge others and ourselves on what we surround
ourselves with. We’re taught that our fulfillment is dependant on our stuff.
But that way of thinking is a trick.
What makes us happy is to remove what’s not serving us.
Clutter distracts us and takes away our self-connection. Our self-connection is
our source of joy and peace of mind. It’s the source of our fulfillment.
That’s why I encourage the honest, matter-of-fact look at
what’s surrounding you. That’s how you take your life back. You take it back in
pieces with each piece of clutter that goes.