The next part of feeling the magic for me was realizing that it was time to start facing my fears.
After infusing my relationships with love, and clearing out the guilty thinking, any form of negative thinking really stood out. Each step that I took to bring joy into my life, removed the space available for things that made me feel bad. The more I shined light into my life and held my beliefs and actions up to scrutiny, the more I saw how much of my life was driven by fear.
Fear can be a very sneaky thing, like guilt, it can worm its way into your life in very subtle ways. Fear is also very closely related to clutter, so you’ll see some common themes in this list below.
- Clutter comes from delayed decisions and fear causes you to hesitate in those decisions. So much of my clutter was due to my inability to decide. Sometimes I just didn’t how to choose, so I did nothing. My home was filled with postponed decisions. There is usually no reason to delay a decision after you’ve given it thought, and after you’ve done the necessary research. When you wait, it puts that part of your life on hold. You can’t move forward.
- Clutter causes you to become afraid to let people see you as you are. Fear causes you to distrust people. Having so many things in my home that that I didn’t like, filled me with negative thoughts and feelings. Negativity easily becomes fear. When you are fearful, you are suspicious of everyone, especially people. While it pays to be cautious, fear of people, makes you withdraw and cut yourself from interactions.
- Clutter causes you to think that you will be judged badly, and you make assumptions accordingly. Fear causes you to believe the worst scenario first, instead of the best. While bad things do happen, good happens more often. When you’re focusing on the bad, you miss out on the truly wonderful things going on around you.
- All of the clutter makes you think about nothing but the clutter. Fear causes you to go inward, rather than bloom and expand outwardly. When you are buried in fear, your world becomes very small. The focus is on you: what you need, what you want, what you are afraid of. This small world then seems really huge, because it is all you see. You have no room to share experiences with friends, loved ones, and new people.
- Clutter traps you in your home, you don’t relax, and you don’t enjoy your life. Fear prevents you from experiencing a joyful life. It becomes easier to not do anything than it is to go and have a good time. You figure you won’t miss out, because something will go wrong anyway. It’s safer to stay home.
Looking back, I don’t really think my fear was that obvious to others. It wasn’t even obvious to me. After awhile, you don’t see that the fear is taking over. Like I said, it’s very subtle, quietly invading different parts of your life. You think that you are being cautious or prudent. I know people just thought I was quiet. But my heart was filled with worry and fear.
I also never considered that my way of thinking was related to my cluttered home and all of the stuff.
But it was.
The fear was also subtle about leaving my life. I think is was a good 6 months or so before I realized how open my life was becoming and how profoundly I was changing.
- When I need to decide on something, I realize it quickly and set a limit on how much time I will dedicate to make that decision. This includes something as simple as opening the daily mail, rather than ignoring it; or as complex as changing a job direction. If something needs to be dealt with now, it’s so glaringly apparent because it carries a different vibe than the rest of my home and life. It’s uncomfortable.
- My confidence keeps growing. I reach out to people instead of being afraid of the interaction. I seek out people nowadays instead of standing back in the shadows. This is a huge step for an introvert like me. Some experiences have been great, but even the not so great ones are easier to deal with and move away from. If I’m working with someone and our approach to work is at odds, I can let it go now. I’m not wrapped up in it and no longer take it personally. I don’t feel like I have to make it “better.”
- I look for the positives and try to ignore the negatives. Today, I went to do my volunteer task at the library. I had all of my things set up to water plants, a part of my weekly assignment that I love, when another volunteer walked up to me and told me that she was assigned to shadow me, so she could learn the process. The pre KonMari me would have had her feelings hurt by this, for a few reasons: 1) The volunteer supervisor hadn’t mentioned doing this, so it was unplanned. 2) My first thought would have been that I was doing something wrong, or they were going to move me from this task. 3) I would have selfishly wanted the fun of doing this all to myself. 4) That word … CHANGE! I didn’t like change. The post KonMari me, instead, welcomed her into the fold. We had a wonderful time. I love talking plants, and we had a great time completing the chore together. I learned she was a Library Science major and was learning to grow her plants at home. It also turned out the Librarians just wanted me to have support and someone to back me up if I wanted to take a vacation. There was nothing nefarious, just thoughtfulness.
- I have experienced so much in the past year that has brought me joy. Looking back, I’m amazed at how many burdens that I lugged around with me. KonMari taught me how to let go of all of them; or at least most of them. I still find the occasional one buried under my thoughts. I then bring it out into the light, examine it, then let it go. Most of them were self imposed. All of these years I dragged them around thinking I had no choice but to live with them. But that just wasn’t true. Now my days are so full. I’m doing things now that I only dreamed about doing when I left for college. I’m full of creativity and having a wonderful time.
This leads me into part 4 the final part of my series of finding the magic posts: Hope and Possibilities. See you next time.