As I was journaling, I had an awareness. I have been using my house to avoid some truths.
Some back story here. I have been reading cleaning, organizing, Feng Shui, decluttering, and even decorating books for decades. When I was married, I would go through my clothes almost every time I turned around. I was living in a 2 bedroom apartment with my spouse, a teenage son, and 4 kids under the age of 4. My life felt out of control. The only thing I felt I had any control over was my very own stuff. I didn’t even feel like I could declutter the shared stuff because that wasn’t my decision alone. I wheedled my clothes and things until I didn’t even have enough clothes to go an entire week without doing laundry.
After a few years, I realized that this decluttering situation was much like anorexia. I couldn’t control anything. I didn’t feel like I deserved to take up space. Everybody’s stuff could have a place because I would get rid of mine to make room for it. With that realization, I was able to change some things and I no longer declutter for the same reasons. Now I declutter because I deserve to have space for the things that are precious for me. I had thought that my unhealthy relationship with my home was fixed. I knew I deserved to take up space.
When my mom passed away and the entire home was now mine to take care of, I learned that I had more layers to heal. I discovered that I was still containing myself to my bedroom. Instead of keeping things in the hall closet which made sense, I was taking up precious real estate in my bedroom. I got to look at the reality that I could take up more space than I was taking up. I didn’t need to keep myself small and contained. I could expand out into the rest of the house.
On a side note, have you ever noticed how kids don’t feel so contained? They leave their stuff all over the house as if it is perfectly acceptable to take up space everywhere. Go kids. Instead of teaching them to contain themselves in their rooms, what if we taught them to cherish the whole house? Asking our kids, if you were to cherish this room, where would you put your backpack? If you were to cherish your backpack, where would you put it?
Back to my story. This morning, as I was journaling about unrelated things, I had an aha. I focus on cleaning my house and decluttering my house as an avoidance technique! What?
There are some really scary things going on in my life right now. I feel out of control again. I’m overwhelmed by the things I can’t control. I’m overwhelmed by the expectations that I don’t have the emotional and physical capacity to take care of. Because I feel so incapable, I turn to an area I can control. I can do the dishes, whether the kids do their part or not. I can declutter all of the stuff except what my kids own because it is mine. There is no spouse to run things by. If the kids are unhappy, well that is a bit sad but they’ll get over it and one day can run their own house.
This awareness comes with great sadness. I feel alone in this, but I’m sure someone out there can relate. Can’t they? I’m sad that I still have so little sense of self worth after twenty plus years of healing that aspect of me. I’m scared that it will never change. I’ve realized that the reason I don’t do decluttering coaching is because the problem I have with clutter is not the same as most people’s. I feel like I can’t be a good coach even if I wanted to be.
The good news is, awareness is half the battle. Becoming aware of this avoidance situation allows me to look under the surface and find the real cause. Maybe, just maybe I will finally come away feeling my value. That’s the hope.
Soul Shine Specialist
& Home Healer
Let your light shine!