Clearing out – just stuff or emotions?
I’ve always known I’m a messy person. In the same way as I know I have blue eyes, brown hair, sucked my thumb until I was 13 and cried a lot as a baby. It feels intrinsic to my very being. It’s a narrative I have heard and felt and absorbed for as long as I can remember. I always thought, life is too short for tidying.
The people I know who are extremely tidy always seem to be cleaning. Constantly putting away, throwing away and absolutely no sitting down until the dishes are done. I saw this in a negative light. It felt so difficult all the time. At the ripe old age of 41 I came to realise that my way was not exactly fun either. Living in chaos was not making me feel good. In fact, it was draining me physically and mentally. I embarked on coaching and made great strides into clearing out and making the house feel nice. My motivation was to be able to invite someone in for a cup of tea without worrying about the state of the house. It worked… for a while. During lock down it began to accumulate again. Not new stuff, but stuff all the same; exploding onto every surface available, affecting my interactions with my children and my relationship.
I began to think of the next step. What was it about all the stuff in my life that I struggled to get rid of? It even stretched to the out of date chicken in the fridge and the potatoes I could smell in the cupboard. Why was I holding on to all these things that served me no purpose?
At this point I decided to address my issue during NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) sessions. I was hoping for a magic wand to just change me instantly into the tidy person I had never associated with. But no, there is no fairy magic that will create the haven of tranquillity I am looking for in my home. Instead, what there was is an interesting set of questions based on S.C.O.R.E. This stands for Symptoms, Causes, Outcome, Resources and Effects. As I went through these questions with my practitioner, it became apparent that the words I associated with the mess and the reluctance to get rid of it were Guilt and Responsibility.
I had guilt about the money that had been spent on things I no longer wanted and subsequently where it should go. Landfill just felt so wrong. I also attached responsibility to items that were not even mine, things people have given me freely which then create a massive burden of responsibility. But who is creating this burden? Only me, in my own head. This comes back to the guilt I felt giving stuff away that I still feels belongs to someone else, even after they have given it to me and not asked for anything in return. Then there is the fact my husband “left me with everything”. Yes, he sure did. Upped and started fresh. Boy does that sound appealing as I am surrounded by a world of unused and unwanted items that I can’t seem to let go of. The other word I feel is overwhelmed. It feels never ending. One long cycle of clearing, gaining more stuff (or more appearing at the surface) and clearing again.
Does this all sound like an amazing list of excuses and blame?
It sure does as I type them out.
We didn’t come to a specific conclusion in the NLP session and I think my practitioner was a bit disappointed but, after a few hours, some form of strategy started in my brain. 5 items every time I entered a room were to be put away, thrown away or given to charity. My daughter has been put in charge of ebaying items and keeping any money she makes. I asked what others who are tidy do so I can model their behaviour. I am starting to accept that I cannot change the fact the items came into my house in the first place, but I can change my reaction to it.
The big question I need to answer so I don’t fall behind again is “What is my Why?”. Previously my why was about others and what others thought of me. This faltered when no one could come to my house thanks to COVID. So, what is the why that connects for me? It is about living a life that gives me energy, enabling me to relax in a peaceful haven without feeling I have an uphill struggle. My why is for my external surroundings to match the internal vision I have.
Letting go of physical stuff is allowing me to let go of so many emotional attachments. It’s not going to take a few days, it may take me months. I know though, with the support of NLP and Coaching I can achieve a life that is congruent, strong, forward facing…. Not messy at all.
Questions to ask yourself:
· Where in my life am I letting stuff (including emotions, bad feeling in a relationship, career disappointment, anxiety) accumulate?
· Where am I blaming others?
· What am I tolerating?
· What excuses am I making to stay as I am?
· What is my Why?
· When am I ready to let go and move forward?
If you want to learn more about these questions, and want help to work through them towards a brighter more for filled future; Book a FREE introductory zoom session with me HERE and discovery how we might work together.
Have a Powerful Day!
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Jenny Jarvis is a practicing, certified, UK Holistic Life Change Coach and NLP Specialist who has empowered numerous people to live a life of their dreams, unleash their relationship with money and start and grow brands and businesses to great success. A truly inspirational individual, Jenny is also the mum to two amazing teens, a Reiki Master and motivational speaker. She inspires all to harness their greatness through energised coaching sessions, workshops and her membership club. Book a free introductory session with Jenny HERE and discovery how you might work together. Or why not get started with her FREE 'Life Change Kickstart' Mini course HERE