While physical clutter is not easy to get rid of, it is easy to identify. When you are ready, you can put it in a box and donate it or sell it. Digital clutter, seemingly invisible is also very evident. You see it when you open your email, jump into iTunes or sort through folders on your desktop.
What about your inner clutter? The emotional baggage? The what ifs and if onlys? The why mes? What can you do about that voice inside your head that never lets you fully move forward?
Let’s face it, stress kills. Stress causes or exacerbates disease. Stress makes us sad and anxious.
One of the greatest causes of stress is inner clutter. It’s hashing through things that have already passed or have yet to happen. The worry and angst that you put yourself through will kill you. If it doesn’t literally kill you, it will kill the person you want to be. The person you deserve to be. The person we deserve to know. The person you are.
The most obvious forms of inner clutter include guilt, regret, judgement, overwhelmedness, bitterness, fear and worry. There are others, but most come back to a form of these. They may be a part of life, but they don’t have to be an ongoing part of life. You can release yourself from this inner clutter.
How to Kill Inner Clutter
Isolate your inner clutter and take responsibility. If you live with daily guilt, ask why? Is there something you can do right now to apologize or fix what you’ve done? If you identify that you haven’t done anything wrong, perhaps guilt is not yours to feel after all. Will a note or call of apology change the past. No, but it can change the present. Accept responsibility for your fear and anxiety and admit that it’s been holding you back. Only then can you begin to work on a solution. If you are angry, sad, scattered or worried for no identifiable reason, accept that too, and ask for help.
You can accept responsibility, even for something you’ve been holding onto for years without the harsh words and critique that you think you deserve. You served your time. Remind yourself that you cannot change the past and revel in the idea that today you will change. Today you will do the right thing. Praise your progress.
When you are short tempered, or angry about something silly, pay attention. There is something behind that needless arguement or harsh word. What is it? It’s tempting to put the blame somewhere else but if you can be aware of your actions, you can begin to take responsibility.
Do it Anyway
Your feelings and emotions can stop you in your tracks. They’ll tell you that you aren’t good enough. They will tell you not to bother. They will tell you that it’s too hard and really scary. So what? Do it anyway. You can quiet your mind with action and purpose.
You failed. You disapointed. You hurt someone. You can’t fix it. If that is the case, it’s time to recognize your mistakes and let them go. Holding onto the pain isn’t making anything better. Instead, it’s getting in the way of your lovely life. If you woke up today, you have an incredible opportunity to live a brand new day. Take it. Run with it. Make the very most of it.
We are a society of multi-taskers, but we can only really think one thought at a time. Find something you are amazingly interested in. Learn a new skill. Make new friends. Help people. Jump in and give it your energy and focus. Dismiss your past transgressions, not through denial but through purposeful attention to something meaningful. When you are thoughtfully engaged in something that matters, you don’t have time to judge and assume. You won’t have the energy to torment yourself for the things you did or didn’t do.
It’s time to stop thinking you can make up for what you did wrong by punishing yourself. It’s time to stop punishing others for what you think they might have done wrong. They are punishing themselves. Don’t ignore bad behavior. Don’t forget misguided actions but forgive them, let them go, and start living. If you need help, seek it.