Clutter in our outer world is tangible things with visual color and texture you can touch. But the inside stuff rolls around in your head and heart, and you carry it with you every day. You wake in the morning, and it beckons your attention. And if you’re an inside clutterer, you answer its call.
“If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved worry is of no use.” ~Dalai Lama
Like outer clutter, inner clutter occurs in different amounts and intensity. At best, you might experience occasional worry like rushing to catch a bus when you oversleep or forget to cancel an appointment, etc. For those, you might fret and say a few choice words, but then deal with it and not let it become an unnecessary burden. Then more intense is worry over one main issue you just can’t release a lost relationship or a mistake you can’t go back and correct. And your strong feelings hold it to you. You see no resolution, and you can’t stop obsessing over it every day.
The most troublesome situation is when multiple issues build up inside with focus on many painful feelings that won’t stop. And they become a source of daily rumination without resolution. Oryou retain feelings from the past like sorrow, regret, anger, etc. And a trigger like a song or a sudden memory can create an ongoing reaction. You can even get into, “What if this happens, or what if that happens,” before anything worrisome happens. Inner clutter fills your thoughts, and you feel there’s no way out.
Outer clutter in our surroundings influences the way we feel. But it doesn’t require constant attention, and daily activities furnish a respite. Inner clutter is a different phenomenon. Your thoughts are part of you. And for a person who’s caught up in a daily battle with obsessive thinking, the relentless invasion of worrisome thoughts can reach down to the soul and leave them anxious, depressed, and exhausted. Just living day to day becomes a challenge.
“Non-resistance is the greatest power in the Universe.” ~Eckhart Tolle
When mental clutter piles up, you try to make it stop. But it won’t budge. You try pushing it out of your mind, but it gets stronger. And you push harder. So it goes, over and over. Well, there’s a saying, “Resistance breeds persistence.” And it does. So stop resisting. Once you let it be, you can get to ways that will release it and bring you peace. And there are ways to do that.
First, give yourself permission to release the clutter. Then voice your intention to stop obsessing, and verbalize a vow to break loose. Be firm.
Prepare with self-talk, and speak to your thoughts with love as often as needed. Repeat,“I’ve been approaching problems with worry, and that doesn’t work. I’m smart enough to handle whatever needs my attention and let the rest go. And thoughts, I don’t need you now. I’m taking charge, and we’re going to be happy.”
“If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.” ~Unknown
Consider the difference between worry and concern. Worry is clutter, it doesn’t solve problems. Concern implies relevance and importance and is a valid place to begin releasing the clutter. So list everything you’re worried about, and rate each item by how relevant and important it is and how much you ‘need’ to be concerned about it…0 being not at all, and 10 being a lot. Then choose items you can solve without worry.
“A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.” ~Marianne Williamson
Imagine a large balloon, and drop items you’re releasing into the balloon. Seal the top, and wave goodbye with forgiveness and love as you watch it float upward and disappear into the sky. Feel your shoulders lighten and your mind clear. Now you have nourished your soul.
It may take additional efforts to finally stop cluttering your mind. But continue the clearing procedure as needed, and your mind will eventually develop a ‘stop button’. And you can truly be free. A long time ago, ongoing efforts worked for me, and I’m grateful.
I wish you a peaceful mind and heart.
Marilyn Fowler, Author of