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Clutter: What If It Hurts To Let Go?

Since my divorce four years ago when I have tried to declut­ter the base­ment, I always think about get­ting rid of it, but keep it. I always fig­ured some day when I was hav­ing a baby I would need it.
When you have a baby, you will need sup­port, infor­ma­tion, and inspi­ra­tion… and you will receive it, just as this magazine came to you with such ease before. This one is for the baby you lost. You won’t need it for the next child. Your loss is unde­ni­able, painful, and a mil­lion other things that I rec­og­nize only in the way that another woman who’s lost a child in her womb can know. That mag­a­zine rep­re­sents that life and the loss of it but the magazine is not that life or that loss, and releas­ing it will free you, not from having had a miscarriage but from clinging to the loss in a way that holds you back.

I feel like it means I will never have my dream of hav­ing my own fam­ily.
I gen­tly, lov­ingly, and respect­fully ask that you con­sider this state­ment again… is it true that releas­ing this mag­a­zine will keep you from hav­ing a baby? Or that it will keep you from remem­ber­ing that you want to have a baby? I imag­ine that your response is some­thing like, “of course not.”

Is there some­thing dif­fer­ent, per­haps some­thing more true and consistent with your actual feelings about this life and loss, that you can do to honor the memory this magazine represents? I’ve heard of many dif­fer­ent ideas (for exam­ple plant­ing a tree, writ­ing a let­ter and releas­ing it by fire, wind, earth, or water, etc.) and would be hon­ored to explore some of them with you, if you’d like.

I understand now that there is a sixth element I neglected before, and it must be tended in order for us to release these things that no longer serve us. I’m seeing it over and over again, this paralysis between our spirit and our stuff. The reason that stuff is here, occupying the space we need to breathe and think and live, is that it causes us discomfort to release it. It causes us discomfort to even consider releasing it, or perhaps even to consider it at all. So, we try not to. We put it in our basements and our attics. We stuff it in the closet and close the door. We spend our entire lives trying to find a way to manage our stuff–buying more organizing materials, searching for “better” housekeeping ideas, and beating ourselves up for failing to keep our stuff in order. That’s managing our stuff, instead of managing our lives.

The stuff is locked into the feelings and the feelings are locked into the stuff. It doesn’t matter from which side we break the lock. What matters is that we break it. When we have the courage to say, “I’m sick of being stuck,” and begin this process of releasing those things that no longer serve us, everything becomes possible. It works because dealing with our clutter is simply a willingness to, at long last, deal with ourselves.

Image credit: puuikibeach via Flickr

Read more: Feng Shui & Organizing, Health, Home, Mental Wellness, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Self-Help, Spirit, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

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Christy Diane Farr

Christy Diane Farr is a catalyst. If that sounds like something you want more of in your life, visit 'The Greenhouse' at SeedsAndWeedsCoaching.com and join the Wildflower Evolution on Facebook.

116 comments

+ add your own
11:01AM PST on Jan 5, 2014

Had a lot of stuff from my parents' house when they passed, but donated much of it when I moved overseas. The move helped clean up the logjam. Thanks.

7:12AM PST on Nov 8, 2013

awesome!

7:12AM PST on Nov 8, 2013

awesome!

6:05PM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

years ago my wife said I wouldn't or couldn't throw things away, really got me to make changes and now most of our clutter belongs to her and her hobbies...

1:17PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

This is a brilliant article that's given me a lot of ideas.
Thankyou again!

2:42PM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

Let go. I've seen what hoarding can do and it's awful for mind, spirit and body.

10:25AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

thanks....I try and try to keep decluttered.

6:57AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

I am normally very organized and like things basically in order. But I am older and am frustrated that when I put something away, I can't remember where I put it!!!! Even in file folders clearly marked!!! So I have an office and bedroom stacked with papers that I am afraid to put away. Out of sight out of mind is a curse! Any suggestions?

6:57AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

I am normally very organized and like things basically in order. But I am older and am frustrated that when I put something away, I can't remember where I put it!!!! Even in file folders clearly marked!!! So I have an office and bedroom stacked with papers that I am afraid to put away. Out of sight out of mind is a curse! Any suggestions?

7:27AM PST on Jan 16, 2012

My biggest problem is that at least 75% of my clutter is items that came to me when my parents passed away. A lot of it is true antiques and heirlooms from as far back as the 1700's. My brothers took their share, I have no children to pass down to. My nieces and nephews are at this point too young to take anything, but I know there are things they will value when they get older. All this is things left after an estate sale and two garage sales.

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