Is Clutter Like Busyness?

I have been sorting things as a result of my remodel chaos and it has dawned on me that I think for me, at least, cluttering things up and having lots of stuff and collecting things is rather like staying incredibly busy or always having the stereo or tv on.  These are ways I have used to escape from myself, to keep from thinking, to avoid unpleasantness, to deny pain and loneliness.  And of course, these ways never work.  They only prevent the healing.

I’ve written before about how the remodel of my home is such an excellent metaphor for the healing work I am doing on my body and soul, but it never ceases to amaze me how much I am learning as a result of the remodeling process.  And the current state where I had to send much of my living room off to storage is a perfect example.  I’m realizing that the openness of the space is extremely important to me and I’m not sure I even want most of that stuff back again (of course I’ll have to deal with it somehow eventually!).  The same is true with the noise level in my home.  I used to feel that I could only sleep if I had music playing or that a quiet house was somehow a horrible mistake.  But now, I find many days I don’t even turn on my iPod or ballets or whatever until afternoon or even early evening and that it is ok to be by myself with nothing going on. 

This concept is extremely new to me and so I am just starting to explore what it means, but part of this is realizing that no matter how wounded I may have been from a very early age, that I am healing and I am finding myself.  I’m discovering the truth of the fact that each of us needs to be our own best friend, comfortable with our own company.  We came into this world alone and will go out of it alone.  Relationships come and go, but the only one you always have is yourself.

The process of discovering who I am and being content with that and knowing at a gut level and not just a head level that I am enough, as one author said recently in a talk I heard, is an exciting and terrifying process.  I don’t need a lot of things around me to stave off loneliness.  First off, that doesn’t work, and secondly it doesn’t get to the root of the problem.  Now that I’ve healed a lot anyway (more to go but that is always true I think), I am content and indeed many days prefer, my own company.  So I find the clutter distracting and it gathers tons of dust which I am allergic to, etc.  I think I shall take this golden opportunity of the remodel to rethink each of my possessions and evaluate anew which ones are really serving me and which ones I’ve moved on from.  I am most grateful to the remodel for all but forcing me to face myself and in the process learn more about who I truly am.  The excavation of Daphne continues!

4 responses

  1. good post. I like your thoughts and just signed to be a follower.

  2. Thanks, Tammy! Glad you liked the post and welcome to my blog! I find it absolutely amazing to realize how much I have learned from this remodel and how the excavation to discover who I really am beyond all the constructs that life has shoved onto me matches up with the physical process of remodel. Isn't life fascinating!

  3. There is nothing like a big remodel or a move to make one realize how much "stuff" (<– said in George Carlin's voice) has accumulated, and to inspire a major sorting and culling project! I think it's a great exercise.I know the more cluttered my home, the more cluttered my mind and life. I'll never live a spartan existence (not on purpose, anyway), but I do love some breathing space!It's cool that you're experiencing the remodel on so many levels, and that you're aware of more than just the physical renovation project! Thanks for sharing your experience, inside and outside yourself! 🙂

  4. Thanks, Laloofah. Yes this remodel has truly become a fantastic real live metaphor for the healing work I am doing and I saw that I'd spent most of my life so busy and cluttered with activities that I could avoid looking at what was really going on as that was too scary. And meanwhile, for all that this is costing me, I should be able to get more than just a gorgeous home–a healing of me is also in the works!

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