By Lana Turnbull
It never fails, something in every issue jumps out at me, and in this issue, it was a book we reviewed, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I have to admit it inspired me to want to declutter and simplify my new year. Whether I carry through with my pre-New Years resolve remains to be seen. Ms. Kondo tells us that clearing out the clutter in our homes, can have a similar effect on our lives. Now that is something to think about.
A cluttered home makes us feel disorganized and overwhelmed, even buried in things that we can’t or won’t make a decision about keeping or tossing. The more the clutter builds up the more impossible the job of removing it seems. That’s a lot like what we do with feelings and emotions we hold on to, not because they are having a positive effect in our lives or accomplishing something, but because we have gotten used to them and giving them up would make us have to give them some serious thought. I’m thinking of emotional clutter like anger, regret, fear, and resentment leftover from years ago, like the pants we haven’t been able to fit into since the dawning of the twenty-first century, but we hang on to them anyway, just because.
In the black holes of our emotional closets, space can get terribly scarce. So what do we do when there are too many clothes, shoes or accessories for our closets to hold another thing, no matter how great it looks on us or what a good buy it is? We clean out the old and make room for the new.
I’m thinking as Ms. Kondo predicts, when we let go of those old grudges, hurt feelings, resentments and slights, we start feeling a lot lighter and there seems to be more room to add positive feelings in the places that were once monopolized by the old negative stuff.
Now if you think getting rid of material things is hard for you, nobody is going to tell you that discarding that emotional clutter is any easier. But as with unworn clothes, unread books, magazines from 2001 and all the other “treasures” we hold on to, taking the brave step to make the decision to let them go gets a little easier with each filled garbage bag.
As the clutter clears, it is pretty easy to get used to that light, clean feeling that we get, and it makes us want to keep our lives that way. And there it is, the life-changing magic. And all we have to do is some tidying up.