A friend and I were having one of our philosophical chats while walking a couple of weeks ago. At some point, the subject changed to the psychological benefits of my decluttering process. Having known me before I started on this mission and being that we often discuss it she has noticed the changes it has had on me.
We discussed how my blog has added purpose to what seemed at first to be just a household chore. We talked about the side effects and lessons I have learned along the way. How I now receive so much satisfaction out of helping others with their clutter issues and that shopping no longer holds any appeal to me these days.
I have even had a positive impact on my friend, encouraging her to ease off on the spending and get her credit card debt under control. We walk together often, which is good for our health and keeps us occupied as we all know how easy it is to get bored and restless when we have nothing worthwhile to do.
When this friend went home she happened to check out her meditation passage for the day and was surprised to find that it reflected the difference she felt she saw in me. Here is that meditation passage for you to read and ponder…
Having learned to transcend purely self-directed concern, fully alive people discover meaning” in their lives. This meaning is found in what Viktor Frankl calls “a specific vocation or mission in life.” It is a matter of commitment to a person or cause in which one can believe and to which one can be dedicated. This faith commitment shapes the lives of fully alive individuals making all of their efforts seem significant and worthwhile. Devotion to this life task raises them above the pettiness and paltriness that necessarily devour meaningless lives. When there is no such meaning in a human life, one is left almost entirely to the pursuit of sensations. One can only experiment, looking for new “kicks,” new ways to break the monotony and boredom of a stagnant life. A person without meaning usually gets lost in the forest of chemically induced delusions, the alcoholic fog, the prolonged orgy, the restless eagerness to scratch without even having an itch. Human nature abhors a vacuum. We must find a cause to believe in or spend the rest of our lives compensating ourselves for failure. From Fully Human, Fully Alive
I know that passage is a bit heavy but the message I took from it is this: If we have lost touch with all worthwhile focus in our lives, we will rely on external stimuli to give us the pleasure we require for happiness, such as shopping, drinking, gambling, drugs etc, to fill the emptiness. Decluttering has given me more purpose than I expected. Not only has it taught me I can be “more with less” but has rewarded me with the joy of helping others.
My friend also found this passage that she wanted me to share with you. It says a lot about the way we chose to live in the Western world….
You’ve never seen a people with as little time as Westerners. Yet we have kitchens filled with time – and work saving objects. Go to the poor Third World countries and ask, “Do you have a little time to talk?” “the rest of my life,.” they’ll say and sit down and share themselves with you for the afternoon.
We should have more time than anybody, but we don’t have any time at all. We’ve defined freedom falsely as an outer thing, in terms of time, space and options. Letting Go – The spirituality of subtraction.
ITEM 307 OF 365 LESS THINGS
The photo on the left shows the declutter item for today while on the right is the coffee plunger hybrid I made from the combined unbroken parts of the two pots. One pot had a broken glass carafe while the plunger had broken in the other. A lot of good the Bonjour brand pot with the unbreakable carafe was when its plunger only lasted a couple of months.
5 Things I am grateful for today
- Finding time to do some decluttering and organising.
- Giants won the world series – That is a bit of news Liam is really going to enjoy.
- A nice night out last night with my old work friends.
- Having a good laugh with Liam today even though I shouldn’t have been laughing because he was misbehaving but I couldn’t help myself. It is the first time he has smiled and laughed with us since the accident so I just let go and enjoyed it.
- Making progress with decluttering the fridge and pantry.