I feel ashamed of, and immobilized by, clutter - what can I do?
The questioner's philosophy
Apart from having a junky bedroom as a kid, the house I grew up in was very clean. My mom was immaculate. The thing is, I know 'how' to clean, and... when I do so, I feel so much better! Then, though, I 'allow' the clutter to build up again! While my childhood home was clean, my parents argued a lot about money, and they eventually split up when I was nine. I don't think I ever felt 'safe' as a kid. I used to wonder if I was sexually abused, but I don't have any concrete memories of this.
As an adult I have some general awareness of Feng Shui, and I know that keeping areas blocked in one's home also 'blocks one's blessings'... I have been unemployed for a year, my car has been repossessed, and I'm trying to hold onto my home before it is foreclosed upon. Also, my thoughts are scattered, too... I have many business ideas, but I can't seem to focus. I jump from one activity to another. I'd also heard that some adults can have Attention Deficit Disorder.
Is it essential for me to 'understand' what's going on with me? Or, is it more important for me to just 'clean up my act' and organize my life? I've had so much shame attached to this. I have shut myself off from life, and I feel immobilized. I want to free myself from this, but I find myself repeatedly attempting to clear the clutter, but to no avail. What can I do? Thank you!
You see I have a similar tendency. I tend to keep things I do not need, and to have things lying around in corners - although for me it is not that strong a tendency at the moment so it does not really interfere with my life - but the tendency is there and there have been times in my life when I was surrounded and immobilized by clutter as you are describing. This happened when my sense of life purpose was missing and I was a bit lost and depressed.
As human beings we all have our strengths and weaknesses and our greatest strength is often the mirror image of our greatest weakness. In my own case I am highly creative (I suspect you may be as well) and part of my creativity is a result of my ability to not seek to control my environment but rather to pick whatever is at hand and run with it, seeing how ideas and resources can be used, adapted and molded to meet the needs of the moment. This same tendency, the tendency to let things take their course, is also a very real weakness and challenge for me, because I am inclined to let my environment fall apart at times, since it is not my nature to feel urgency around keeping it under tight control.
So the first thing I want you to do is to reflect on the "weakness" in your character that is at the root of your tendency to hoard clutter and ask yourself what very real strength does it mirror. Then when you have recognized that strength appreciate it and begin to use it more in your life. As your "strength" begins to be expressed more clearly, your life will come into balance and you will move closer to being the kind of person you really are. Your "weakness" that mirrors this "strength" will loose a lot of its power and you will be in a better position to manage it.
It is also true that you may be holding on to grievances from you past that this clutter is symbolizing. So as well as appreciating your strength as mentioned above, I want you to think of those people from your past, perhaps from your childhood, to whom you feel unconnected by a bond of love. You need to forgive them. If there are such people in your memory I want you to either ring them up, and apologize for holding feelings of ill will toward them, or to write to them with the same intent. If they are dead I want you to write to them and burn the letter. While it is true that you may have been hurt in the past, you were not hurt by others consciously. It is their lack of awareness that caused them to behave as they did.
At the same time as you do this I want you to read from the chapter in my book, Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off which you can buy in paperback, Your calling is elevated through the release of pain. If any inner pain or grief comes up as a result of forgiving those who caused hurt, you will understand from this chapter how to get in touch with it, feel it and let it go. Feeling and letting go of your pain in this way will help you break through the invisible boundary that is keeping you immobilized and you will be able to feel and use your strength more effectively.
As you express your strength and release your pain, you may feel a new capacity to face the clutter. I would like to share with you how I do this. Most mornings, (my intention is to do this every morning but I am not always true to my promise to myself), I spend the first hour of every day attending to the somewhat dull and dreary tasks that are an inevitable part of any working life. Once they are out of the way I switch to the tasks I find more pleasant. In doing this I find it helpful to not give any energy to feelings of like or dislike in relation to my work but simply remain true to my intention. When I do this my life feels under control and I am free to enjoy the most creative parts of my day. I suggest you remember this and seek to do likewise.
Doing all the above will gradually put you in touch with your Higher Self and you will slowly evolve into a balanced person with a productive, happy life. As you make progress along the lines I have recommended, and as your life settles down again after all the external changes you are experiencing, you will feel ready to begin to live your life out of the possibilities of the future rather than be stuck in the hurts and clutter of the past.