Thursday, April 2, 2009

Only Room For One

I've been in a viewing marathon of a show on Style Network, Clean House. Have you ever watched? Like other reality shows, it has a following because of a Human Being's lack of control. Not only those messy enough to qualify, but also for those who view it. It's the same as simply having to look at an accident. You just have to look don't you? You know you shouldn't gawk, but you can't help yourself. Even though you try to be sneaky and subtle as you do.

I see you looking...

If you're not familiar with the show, this team goes into houses that are truly mini-landfills hidden behind walls. Houses where Human Beings have reverted into a primal state of existence hunting and furrowing through mounds of detritus that they call, "their stuff."

No matter how many times I see it, in whatever form it comes, I can't help but say, "You've got to be freakin' kidding me! Who lives like that!!!????" Apparently, many. Sadly, many. Or, there wouldn't be a show would there?

I like the show because they take time delving, not only into the trash, clutter, and madness of the stuff...but also into some of the thinking that caused the inhabitants to allow their space to get like that.

Consistent themes are unearthed: Loss, Fear, Control, Confusion, Lack of Awareness, Apathy. Oddly enough, apathy is the least often uncovered. Nah, certainly not apathy; anything that's as messy as these places took a lot of energy. That sort of chaos doesn't happen because people couldn't find the energy to work at it. More times than not, it's fear of letting go that gets people in these horrible situations.

Fear. When it moves in, fresh air and order move out.

The other consistent contributor to this madness on Clean House is people inheriting 'stuff' from someone and allowing it to clog up their space. Furniture and bits and pieces of a dead parent or other relative. It's attempting to cling to the memory of a person via the things they left on earth. Coupled with the inability to say, "Oh, that truly is lovely, but no thank you," when it's so thoughtfully offered.

"No!" It's a good word. Why are we so reluctant to say it at the right time? And, why can't we remember that people are not their stuff? We won't forget them if we pass on inheriting their china.

I'm so not a Martha Stewart foot soldier. Even though I have a beautiful home which most find artistic and pleasing. It's interesting and eclectic. I work regularly to keep it picked up and stowed in place, but I am not slaving for domestic excellence. Not. Doing. It.

Especially once the weather breaks...I'd much rather putter in the gardens. However, I require peace in the kingdom and all to feel welcome. So I don't write my name in the dust; if I leave it undisturbed, it's less obvious should you chance by for a cuppa'. I'd much rather visit with you than dust.

I'm wondering today, about how much clutter possibly lives in our heads. How much thinking that we should let go, but still sits piled up in corners. I'm wondering how many thoughts I allow space that aren't mine at all. Crap I've inherited from someone else. Things they thought. Opinions they held. Biases they believed. All given to me, for me to store.

I'm wondering how much internal negative chatter I hear about others, but that I also hear me using against myself, is the junk that someone else left. That now resides in my cranium...

I'm beginning to consider- I need to be more vigilant about what I allow into my head home. Not everything I think needs to be given a safe haven. Not everything I hear needs to be invited in. And just because someone is important to me, doesn't mean I have to inherit their thoughts!

Let's face it. In your brain, there's only room enough for one. If you have stuff in there that someone else dropped off on you because they didn't want it, need it, or find it good enough to hold for themselves... out to the curb with it. Start today. If it makes you uncomfortable, kick it loose. If you've outgrown the notion, evict it! But, first you need to become aware that it's living in your space. Go ahead! It's a good thing to question your 'stuff'.

I adore William Morris. His aesthetic influenced Frank Lloyd Wright and others. He was elegant in the most fundamental ways. Colors, fabrics, and furnishings. He's one of the founding minds of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Part of the fluid grace of Art Nouveau.

He directed, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

And The Queen concurs with this is excellent wisdom. Advice that suites our head spaces as well as our living spaces. It's Spring. Time to take inventory. Time for Clean Psyche' House. Time to evict thoughts that are not useful or beautiful.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


beth said...

I know someone who lives in a house that's too full and it's sad and I feel helpless to the situation....

and the way you connected too much stuff, to what's in our minds and thoughts...beautiful !!!

I feel a cleansing coming on !!

teachable said...

I live like that. My husband is a compulsive hoarder. I think he has Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder. Unfortunately, he doesn't...

Coming from an alcoholism; I am used to "pristine" surroundings; which used to tell those coming, "Nothing wrong here...look, everything's perfect."

I didn't realize when I met my husband that he had this problem. I just thought that, as a bachelor, he needed a little "help".

Recently, I gave away a pile of clothes that were hanging on a doornob (not having been touched for over 5 years). He noticed they were gone! And it caused him great consternation.

As the years have passed, the mess has greatly accumulated and I find myself helpless to do anything about it. I am, after all, in a marriage -- I took vows that I cherish and although not always easy, plan to respect.

I have done much of my spiritual growing living amidst this "mess", and have learned many lessons...tolerance for those un-like myself, unconditional love and acceptance to name a few. The personal "lessons" I have learned are too numerous to post here, but suffice it to say I now live from the inside out -- knowing experientially that it is NOT what shows on the outside that makes me who I am or can "give" me my good feelings about me. It is Who I am on the inside and, coming from that clean, uncluttered place of peace inside, what I can give to the world.

It is not easy; living amidst all that clutter. It IS do-able. I make the choice HOW I do it...Today I choose happily and lovingly.

cinner said...

Holly, I loved your post today. I watch Clean House and I say the same thing....are you freaking kidding I have a friend that lives like that and I go crazy when I visit. When I leave I can literally feel weight off my shoulders. I am not a clean fanatic. Somedays I do write my name in the dust(Just before I clean) I sure see the connection to our minds and thoughts, and how much we have.

Holly said...

Teachable: You taught me something today! It's easy to see what can be 'said' by a chaotic house, but I had not considered what is being hidden in a house that is miticulously kept. In either extreme we probably find wounded spirits attempting to hide. Thank you for the ah-ha moment today. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to help us all understand more.

Eileen said...

A terrific message here today Holly both in your post and in the comments ... I love the thought of cleaning out the mess in our psyches ... it probably takes practice to keep it from coming back but worth the exercise. Thanks to Teachable for the insights provided today. Reminds me of the place one has to go to when you have a teenager residing in your home and you have to develop that inner peace that their space does not have to clutter your own inner peace.

Toni said...

oooh, Clean Sweep!!!! I LOVE that show ... from piles & swarms & chaos to Zen-like organization ... I'm not a horder, though, matter o'fact my hubby/sons have to back me off when I get into my purge mode. Mentally is more challenging, you're right, but I think there are just more places in the brain for debris & rubbish to hide, and it's more difficult to get a light in those cracks to flush them out. [but I STILL love that show!!]

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