One extremely important lesson that I have recently learnt is that of de- cluttering. Those who have known me for years will probably be trying to stifle a snigger, as I have been living in a state of chaos for years. But that is the point! I was really untidy, not that I wanted to be, I just couldn’t get motivated enough to organise myself. Also I collected things that I couldn’t imagine living without. Why?
The answer is simple, i wasn’t ready to let go of anything – physical or emotional. Although I hated the way that I lived, I needed to hate it! Yes it sounds daft but it was like my security blanket. No one expects much from you when you live in such a mess. The same applied to my appearance – I have been grossly overweight for most of my life, but it’s easy to hide when you are so fat, you become almost invisible to most people. I could look at myself in a mirror, hate what I saw, hate myself over again, yet feel ‘safe’. I looked and felt rubbish, so it was no surprise if I was treated as such – & the biggest abuser was myself! It took a year of supportive therapy for me to understand this.
Thankfully I came across a book on de- cluttering your life and my life changed in ways that I could never have expected!
The biggest thing that I learnt was that I needed to ‘let go’. Not just of un needed belongings, but of everything that was holding me back from getting on with my life.
I’m not sure which aspect of my life was the most difficult to let go of, but probably my self loathing was the most important! However I needed to make practical changes BIG ONES!
On the day that I made the decision to declutter, I began straight away. I remember that I couldn’t sleep because I knew that what I’d read about letting go was vital & so, at about 2.30am I got out of bed, grabbed a few bin bags & started emptying my drawers of clothes that I’d held on to, just in case! In case of what? I’m not sure , somethings in case I gained weight, some in case I lost weight. Some clothes that I loved because they reminded me of the old me, some that I had bought just because I could!!! That night I filled 4 bags, which I was able to send to charity. Then I began to scour my apartment for anything that I didn’t particularly like or need. I think that if we are honest, most of us have posessions that we don’t know why we keep, we just can’t part with them.
Over the past few months I have been amazed at the amount of clutter that held bad memories, so why I held onto them will always be a mystery! Even now, a day never passes without me letting go of something, although where I had stored it, goodness knows! This has had an added bonus that when I see how much the charity shops sell my things for, I am. delighted, I feel useful! However one difficult lesson is that it isn’t just unwanted items that needed to go, often it is something that I really love, or cost me a lot, but don’t need, or have bought for selfish reasons. These are hard to part with but that makes it more rewarding.
Once I had begun the physical clearing, it started me thinking about other aspects of my life…………
I have many food intolerances yet had continued to suffer because I couldn’t manage without bread ( or other similar grain) regardless of how ill it made me. How ridiculous! So I stopped eating wheat, then many other foodstuffs followed. With each food that I elimitated ,I felt so much better, which gave me the courage to continue. Now I eat no animal product, with the exception of an occasional egg. I live a wheat free, dairy free, low sugar, alcohol free life. I have lost over 41/2 stone which took away some of the self loathing. I began to look good. People began to comment on my achievements. so. I began to feel good. I started to care about myself. I found an interest in healthy cooking, trying new exciting ingredients. I found that I loved things that I had told myself that I always hated. I was taking positive risks & loved it!
Of course none of the changes that I’d made could make much difference unless I also learnt to declutter my head & heart. I wrote pages & pages of simple poetry, as I found it easier to express myself in that way. I began to understand how my depression had held me captive for so many years.
I learnt to forgive those who had hurt me, but more importantly I learnt how to forgive myself.
I learnt how to still my mind through meditation, yoga & Tai Chi.
I discovered that silence needn’t be scary.
I learnt to trust the Universe. There was a reason that I was here on this Earth & it certainly wasn’t so I could abuse myself.
I found that the atmosphere in my home had changed, it felt lighter, calmer. I felt at peace. I finally felt contentment.
Since that first de cluttering book I have learnt an awful lot about the subject, some of it from reading & studying, but by far the biggest part has been through trusting my intuition. I have learnt what works for me.
My home is still full of belongings, but everything that I now have is here because I love it & gain something from having it.
My bitterness has gone, in giving away so much, I have gained such reward! I rarely sell anything, preferring to give things to those in need. Not because I’m a wonderful person, but because I have learnt to care for something other than my own sadness.
Nothing very positive can be cultivated in a home/ head & heart filled with rubbish. Since letting go of my bad memories & misery, I have made space for new, wonderful opportunities . In clearing space I have made room for new, good things to enter my life – and believe me, it has!
Maybe it is something that could work for you too? Yes it is a drastic step to take, but a necessary one in a lot of our lives.
it can also be scary, but imagine that you are a toddler taking your first independent steps – you’ll be unsteady, will probably have several falls, but with every step you will get stronger & steadier.
No one can make you do this, or do it for you. Paying someone else to do it won’t work either.
You are the one who needs to take these steps, but remember, you are the one who have everything to gain!
So where are those rubbish bags????
Happy sorting. ☺️ 👍
As a post script, I have realised that I needed so many belongings, because They were MINE. I have lost so much in my life that I needed to be in control. To know that no one could take them away from me. I needed security – but that doesn’t come from what you own.
it comes from within 💛