The AIM2011 task this week is to declutter.
It’s funny because there is a series on TV at the moment about extreme hoarders. I am trying to cut back on TV but somethings just fascinate me too much. It is very easy for me to shake my head, and ask how can anyone live like that. I’d go crazy in that mess.
Last night an elder women was close to being evicted if she did not clean her house. Her children were helping her and she was getting very angry. She could not allow her family to throw away her things. As she said “they are never here with me, but my stuff is with me all the time”. The autopilot started to judge her. "Why doesn’t she just call them, be more pleasent so they would want to come over, get her act together" etc. As they started to clear her house, and she was panicking and trying to hang on to every little piece of paper, I felt it sting a bit.
I might not have piles of “junk” everywhere, but I for sure have things that I cling on to. Things I feel represent me, things that give me a sense of self. I can relate to the feeling of that self leaving me if I ever threw those things in the garbage. I have books that are there because I feel that I stay bright in their presence, birthday cards so I still feel loved, clumps of clay I don’t know what is anymore - to remind me that I was a child once, t-shirts I would never wear, from festivals I danced around at when I was a fun person, clothes I can’t fit anymore, from a time when I was a better looking version of me... and I can go on.
It is in boxes, stuffed away in the attic, and maybe they will only come out again the day I am no longer here, and someone has to clear it out. So is my sense of self stuck in a box in the attic?
I have no intention of getting rid of everything I own, but I will definitely have a look at the reasons for why I hang on to certain stuff. Can I feel in touch with my childhood, feel loved, feel smart, be a fun person without a storageroom to define me? Maybe we all hoard to a certain extent. It must be harder to be present when we can’t let go of the past in fear of losing ourselves. Maybe the memories and feel of self, don’t get the place they deserve because it has become an external thing.
Since everything is forever changing, I have the intention of letting go of the fear, that the proces of change will lose me if I don’t hang on. And try to trust mySELF.
- The picture is painted by a man that I will never forget - Norman Knott. The day I met him I will always hold dear and it was a big part of my childhood. The feeling his presence gave me is in my heart, painting or no painting.