The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds. -Thomas Merton
In preparing to sell our home in the Atlanta area Rebecca and I had set a goal to significantly reduce the amount of stuff we have. We want our next home to be less than half the size of our current one…. and we want to move with less 1/3rd of the stuff. Rebecca is already an anti-clutter black belt but I needed some serious time in the dojo. Still over the past 2 months I have been becoming a black belt user on Craigs List and doing a small amount of listing on E-bay as well. (ebay seems to be better for Comic Books, book collections, legos etc) These methods along with some trips to the trusty good will store have emptied out our home which now has several empty rooms. And I can envision loading that moving van in less than 2 hours when the time comes.
We thought we would be moved out by now but our contracted buyer just fell through. So with FOR SALE sign back in the yard we are faced with a reality that we may be here another few weeks or even months. But we have sold couches, dressers, tables, chairs, lawn care equipment, a bed (spare), toys, books, and more. I commented to Rebecca … that perhaps we had been premature on selling many of these things. Her response was this simple question.
“Have you missed anything that we have gotten rid of?” My answer came surprisingly quickly … “No.” not just No….but NO!!
She said, “Me either.”
I can’t help but think the same is true of anything that clutters our lives, including especially our thoughts. What if the following picture wasn’t material stuff…but emotional stuff. What might the labels be if it represented mental clutter? Not just what it is, but why it’s there and where and how would we get rid of it? There is no craigs-listing for crappy thinking? (at least I don’t think there is) Can a person e-bay their resentment over a real or imagined slight by a co-worker? I can see where Good Will donations would help…but what about the rest of it? Where do we drop off our mental clutter ? Can we just let it go?
I believe we can let it go. I am not saying it is easy to do this…but look at the alternative… is it any easier to keep it and carry it around? Is it easier to live with the clutter or to practice and become an expert at letting it go, and staying de-cluttered? To any extent we can be successful in clearing out the clutter we then create space for other more important things like peace, creativity, focus, or even relationships. Who wouldn’t trade an overwhelmed or cluttered mind for some peace of mind?
And when we get some of the clutter, worry, insecurity, stress, resentfulness or whatever might be cluttering our thoughts out… I’m almost certain we won’t miss it!