I don’t know who to credit for this memecard that found its way to my Facebook page, but it so perfectly captured my experience that I not only shared it there, but felt compelled to bring it forward here to share last night’s brainshower.
A group that popped up on Facebook at the beginning of Lent, “40 Bags in 40 Days”, is a mutual-cheer group for people working toward decluttering, giving up for Lent not just one thing, but a portion of the mass of things that reflects, constitutes, and exacerbates the feelings of not being in control of our lives.
Last night, in one of those moments I often have where I am partially awake but know it isn’t time to really wake up, my mind paralleled body fat with house clutter. When you eat more calories than you need, your body pulls the extra glucose out of your blood and converts it to fat storage (somehow, I don’t know the actual mechanics) for when you might need it later. In our society, food is so plentiful that the later never comes and so we just continue to accumulate the fat that slows us down and wears us out.
Our society also has such a surplus of material goods that producers constantly vie for our attention, hoping to persuade us to purchase their things, whether we need them or not. And hunter-gatherers that we are, when we find a spiffy-cool, bright-and-shiny object that is either unlike anything we have or somehow perceived as better than all the other ones we already own, we grab it and take it back to the cave to save for when we might need it later. Except that, like the fat in our bodies, later may never come and we just continue to accumulate things that slow us down and wear us out mentally and emotionally.
Just as the fat accumulating inside our arteries can constrict and slow down the blood flow, the clutter in our homes constricts the energy flow, making moving through our living space feel like struggling through invisible quicksand.
To my middle-of-the-night brain, it was all so clear, and reinforced my plan to continue to work on letting go of things.