They say a cluttered desk can be a sign of a cluttered mind. While this isn’t always true, it isn’t unusual for our minds to project our processes of feelings and thoughts into physicality, almost as if to show us tangibly what our inner workings are doing.
Sometimes you can be feeling so emotionally overwhelmed and bogged down that you might feel like a weight is hanging in your very veins. Sometimes your mind can be so full of unprocessed negative emotions that your stomach feels just as full and you’re not hungry. Sometimes you can feel so happy that you feel physically lighter. Sometimes can you feel so content and accomplished that you have more physical energy.
Sometimes your mind projects onto more than just your body and into your environment. In this case your mind can be like your house. Sometimes you just let little things go for a bit, but then you start letting things go so often that the little things pile up into a large conglomerate pile of garbage. “I’ll was the dishes later.” “I’ll deal with that emotion when I have a moment.” “I’ll take care of the laundry after work. Meanwhile another pair of socks in the hamper won’t hurt.” “I’ll talk to him/her later about how they made me feel. Surely it isn’t that big of a deal.” “I’ll clean the bathroom this weekend. Or the beginning of the work week.” “I’ll unpack this tangled wad of problems next week when I have a few days off to process. Or maybe the week after would be better; I’d like to enjoy my time off.”
You’ve probably seen this in the extreme if you’ve ever seen a hoarder’s house get cleaned on TV; there’s almost always a psychological reason for their houses to be so messy. Often it’s because they feel out of control, or they have emotional issues that they haven’t dealt with yet or properly. It’s like letting one piece of trash at a time pile up into a mound of garbage. It happens so gradually that you just get used to the pile and even the smell. Then by the time you think you should probably take out the trash, the pile is so big and overwhelming that you don’t know where or how to start. It’s so big and daunting that you feel it’s easier to just leave it be. Meanwhile because the pile is so big, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to keep putting just one more thing onto it. But you’re not the only one who can smell the pile, and eventually you’ll feel that you’re pushing your friends and family away. But remember the people you feel like you’re pushing away are often the people who will be right there to help you clean up the mess. They care enough to still hang around and will step in to help you.
Having a support system is important. You need people around you who will help you, and you likely have them even if you think you don’t. When the pile of garbage gets to be too big, you are allowed to and very much should ask for help. There are people around you who care enough to step in and help you clean things up. You’re not alone and you don’t have to get rid of the garbage all on your own. You don’t have to stay sick with the toxicity of it and no one else does either. Here’s the catch though, if you don’t work on the habits that slowly led you to this pile, cleaning your pile of garbage away will only give you a temporary reprieve and you’ll just start another one. So just like keeping your physical house clean, you’ll need to change some habits and take care of things right when they happen. You can also have someone help you clean regularly. Being held accountable and having a friend or two that will come help you deal with things can go a long way to helping you maintain a clean house and a clear mind.