I’m a child of the 50’s, who wore ribbons in my hair, smocked Ladybird dresses, Clarks sandals and Start-Rite shoes. My mother was a wonderful cook but unusual in having a full-time job outside the home. I’m also an heir to the “it will come in useful one day” post-war philosophy, meaning I hate to throw anything away.
Over the years, I’ve filled my small home with more than it can comfortably hold. My handle on Amazon used to be “product junkie”, a wry, ironic description of the dilemma I was in and how easily low self-esteem has lured me into a cycle of buying more than I need.
Last year I had a tendency to overspend while seeking the elusive, wonder skin care solution to calm my reactive, hypersensitive skin. It went from oily to dry, with a sideline of spots, persistent peri-oral dermatitis rash, eczema and flakiness, which drove me to desperately seek the magic formula to put things right again.
Life was busier and far more stressful than usual, so my skin reacted violently as I pushed myself beyond what is normal for me. I tried various new products. Some things worked well for a while, prompting me to stock up, only to find the good response didn’t last and the quest for success was resumed.
Cupboards and drawers, already bulging with stuff, have had to make room for this excess as well. Now, as we’re forced into a major sort out, tidying and decorating marathon prior to new carpets and furniture arriving soon, I’m having to decide if all the stuff I possess sparks joy and is really useful or not.
Should this or that be kept, given away or discarded? Do I have sufficient mental and physical energy for the task in hand, or to live surrounded by so much stuff? Because this is just the start of a journey toward living a less cluttered existence. Maybe you can relate?
We’re facing the pain of letting go of things we’ve unthinkingly kept. Having struggled tremendously with daily life for years, we will need supernatural equipping, practical support and prayer to get us through the sorting processes ahead.
My hope is to journal the journey here. I want to share the spiritual lessons I will learn over the next few weeks in the art of releasing things, and how learning to live clutter-free helps me to discern what is truly needful and useful to keep.
The clearing of physical clutter also challenges us emotionally and spiritually. An unearthing of foundational truth happens. We ask ourselves: Why do we hesitate to release? What has a hold on me? What’s really useful to hold on to?
How do we differentiate between want and need? How do we move forward to receive the new while we cling to the past? Rest can seem elusive when we’re surrounded by stuff, unless we learn to live a discerning, uncluttered, pared back life.
I’ll be examining these questions as I go through the decluttering process with God as my guide and a few helpful books to steer me in the right direction. I’d love you to join me. Feel free to share your own tips and stories. Deep breath…we can do this, friends! 🙂