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  • Writer's pictureSahina

So What is Inner Clutter, Anyway? - Part 2

Continuing with our physical clutter analogy – when your living space is cluttered, how does it make you feel when you look around and see it? Not good, right? It brings your energy down. Maybe it irritates, saddens or depresses you. Or makes you feel overwhelmed or disempowered. Clutter feels weighty and burdensome. On the other hand, a clear, uncluttered space feels light and airy. There’s a sense of ease and flow.

Exercise: Close your eyes and become quiet for a moment. Tune into your inner environment (mind and heart). How does it feel in there? .... What do you sense or 'see'? .... Anything that brings your energy down? Irritates, saddens or bothers you? Are there any weighty or depressing thoughts or feelings? If so, you can either choose to let them be – maybe you're not ready or inclined to address them. Or, you can decide to take a closer at that inner clutter … with the intention of releasing anything that feels burdensome and doesn’t support your well-being.

As stated in Part 1, all human emotions are valid and need to be allowed, accepted and respected. But there’s no need to let your inner space remain cluttered up with unproductive, fear-based thoughts and feelings for longer than necessary. Or to let unattended, unprocessed negative emotions swirl around, attracting more of the same. My next article (5 Steps To Clear Your Inner Clutter) will outline the steps to take in order to release what you’re ready to let go of.

All human emotions are valid and need to be allowed, accepted and respected.

Going back to our analogy, clutter in the home can be either visible (usually spread around or piled up on surfaces) or long forgotten and invisible (perhaps stashed away at the back of a closet, under the bed, or in the attic or basement).

The same is true of inner clutter. We can be aware of our unresolved emotions or our judgments and prejudices (visible clutter), or we might be unconscious of their existence (invisible clutter). All inner clutter affects the quality of our lives, including the unconscious type, which acts like a computer program running silently in the background of our minds. Although we're not aware of it, it affects our thinking and the choices we make, and therefore plays a part in shaping our daily experiences. In the words of C G Jung, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."

Some deeply unconscious inner clutter might be too painful or uncomfortable to think about - emotional wounds, hard-wired feelings of shame, inferiority or superiority, or self-judgments we don't even know we have. It all lies buried under a pile of more pleasant life experiences. However, painful or traumatic memories only tend to rise to the surface of our mind when we're ready to face them. Our psyche is remarkably effective at keeping us protected from anything we're not yet psychologically equipped to confront.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C G Jung

Just as physical clutter dulls the energetic vibrancy of your home, inner clutter dulls the vibrancy of your heart and mind, diminishing your enjoyment of life. But just as physical clutter in your living space can be handled, whenever you decide to act on it, so can inner clutter in your psyche be released and transformed, whenever you’re ready to address it.

It can certainly take courage to take on the task of clearing out unpleasant, long-forgotten stuff stored in your mental basement. But when and if the time’s right, it’ll happen. Perhaps you’ll experience some uncomfortable or intense feelings – but only the kind you’d willingly feel if you were watching a scary movie. And just as you always leave the cinema still intact after watching a horror film, you’ll also survive watching any inner horror show that may need to be aired in order for you to release and transform difficult memories from your past.

People often resist the process of clearing clutter in their homes - mostly because they’re afraid of what they might feel, rather than the physical labour involved. However, during my many years of working with clients, my experience told me that it was never as bad as they’d anticipated. And it was always well worth the time and effort they put in. And once the job was done, they were inevitably grateful for the newly lightened up space they could now freely enjoy in a whole new way.

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