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  • Writer's pictureSahina

So What Is Inner Clutter, Anyway? - Part 1

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Inner clutter consists of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes that prevent us from enjoying our most natural state - peaceful, clear, vital, happy and free.

Just as clouds block the full radiance of the sun, so does inner clutter block your full inner radiance. It dims the natural brightness of your mind and heart, diminishing your joie de vivre. Releasing inner clutter allows more of the 'true you' to shine through, and more of it to be seen by others.

Our minds constantly process thoughts and feelings. Obviously, much of our mental activity is necessary and productive. However, much of it is unproductive, and is sometimes downright destructive, draining our precious energy.

Having spent twenty years helping clients declutter their homes as a Professional Organizer, it’s clear to me that the exact same steps are involved when it comes to decluttering one's mind. I’ll outline those steps in an upcoming post.

One example of inner or mental clutter is worry and anxiety about the future. Worry is using your imagination to create thoughts and images of what you don’t want to happen. A clear and empowered mind uses its imagination to create wanted, uplifting thoughts and ideas about the future - thoughts and images that feel good! When life feels challenging or oppressive, it's even more important to take charge of our imaginations (our personal creative machinery) in order to mold our inner and outer experiences in positive ways.

Worry is using your imagination to create thoughts and images of what you don’t want to happen.

Thoughts act like a magnet, and literally create. As Mike Dooley, one of my favorite contemporary inspirational teachers says, “Thoughts become things – so choose the good ones!”

Another example of inner clutter is negative self-talk. Self-diminishing thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve” or "I can't be/do/have ..." are plain unhelpful. No matter where we learned them, the sooner we see them for what they are, and let them go, the better, if we want an improved experience of life.

Judgments, criticisms and prejudices about others (and ourselves) are another type of inner clutter. This type creates separation and division in our lives and world. Judgments create an inner wall between us and whoever or whatever we judge. Becoming aware of our judgments and prejudices is the first step towards healing the divisions we've created between ourselves and others.

Much of our inner clutter consists of unresolved feelings from the past. Unhealed hurts; unforgiven grievances and resentments; unfelt grief, disappointments or anger; lingering regrets or guilt. Of course, all of these emotions are perfectly natural and valid, and need to be acknowledged and honored. However, it isn't natural to carry them around inside of ourselves for weeks, months or years. Sometimes even decades.

Releasing old hurts or resentments isn’t letting those who ‘did us wrong’ off the hook. Rather, it's an act of lightening our own load. We punish only ourselves when we lug around such weighty feelings for longer than necessary. As the saying goes, “Holding on to resentment (or anger, hate etc.) is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Holding on to unexpressed grief doesn’t bring you any closer to who or what you lost. Rather, it creates a barrier to loving again.

Daily, even hourly, fluctuations of mood and emotional state are of course perfectly natural, as we navigate life’s ups and downs. We’re all human. What I’m referring to in this article are the negative thoughts and feelings that have taken up long-term residence within us, and have become habitual and even a part of our identity.

Unfortunately, we tend to become attached to whatever inner clutter we’ve carted around inside of us for a long time (just as we can become attached to an old, worn-out physical item we no longer use, yet can’t bring ourselves to let go of). Emotional clutter can come to feel so familiar that we’re not sure who we’d be without it. Our old, unresolved, painful feelings can feel as though they’re literally a part of us. However, releasing your inner baggage doesn't involve getting rid of part of who you essentially are. You’ll still be intact. You'll still be you - but an improved, upgraded version of you. Lighter, clearer, happier.

To be continued in Part 2.

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