A clutter situation is often created by losing touch with ourselves. We’ve gotten overwhelmed by life. Our careers, goals, and day-to-day tasks have become more important than our well being. The result is we suffer. When we realize this is happening, we often feel shame and respond with self-criticism.
The Tools of Kindness are a positive and gentle way of responding to the clutter situation. They help you consider yourself again. They allow the necessary healing to happen.
The first tool of kindness is recognizing that it’s normal and natural to get stuck in clutter. It’s very common. It happens to a lot of people. When it’s happening to you, you can think you are wrong. You can negatively compare yourself to others. You can feel isolated and alone. But you’re not. Clutter is a popular topic because a lot of people find themselves stuck in clutter. So when you find yourself stuck, you can say, “Of course this happened. It’s part of being alive. I lost track of things. I got tired. I’m not alone.” Compassion opens the door for true healing to begin.
The second tool of kindness is recognizing that we are encouraged to put what’s in our lives ahead of our well-being. We’re taught that a person is successful only when they have certain things in their lives. Whether that thing is an electronic device, a particular job, a level of acceptance, a mate, a certain way for their body to look, proper behavior, the right amount of income, the perfect home – whatever you think you should have or do. The kindness is recognizing that you’ve been trained to value what you have over how you are feeling. Living this acquired way hurts you. By seeing how this learned habit hurts, you naturally begin to move away from this way of thinking.
The third tool of kindness is recognizing that you deserve to be treated well. And that being treated well is more valuable than anything you can acquire. Being treated well means getting enough rest. Wondering what you can do to give yourself some comfort. It also means assuming that being treated well is the main job in your life. That it’s okay to put yourself and your basic needs first. Making taking care of yourself okay reduces the need to make yourself okay in the world’s eyes.
The fourth tool of kindness is to have an open curiosity about the things in your life. Curiosity is kind because it removes any self-blame for the clutter situation. “Now that I see how this situation happened, I wonder what I have in my life that is hurting my well-being?” That kindness opens you up to your inner discriminating faculties. Your clarity. It allows you to begin to see clearly. Without the demeaning and weakening influence of self-criticism, you blossom. Your blossoming is fulfilling. It gives you the strength to take better care of yourself.
The fifth tool of kindness is to take the clutter busting slowly. Your self-inventory works best for you when it’s taken at a speed that is kind to you. Pick a small area to consider. “What’s an amount that I can work on that supports me?” It’s not that all the clutter has to go in order for you to feel better. With each item that you realize is clutter, and that you remove from your life, you get relief. Relief is what you are seeking. With relief comes the peace of mind. Relief is the removal of something that hurts. It brings relaxation. That feels good.
The sixth tool of kindness is turning on your clutter radar. The clutter radar is the part of you that senses when something doesn’t feel good. It alerts you that something is causing you pain. Because we were taught that we need certain things to be happy, usually a list that came from others, we lost track of what truly and actually matters to us. Your clutter radar is the ultimate guide to what fits and doesn’t fit your life. The world may disagree with you, and that’s okay. They don’t know your radar. You do.
(This is a repost from two years ago.)