What Does Clearing Out Baggage Mean?
It means taking a deep dive into the places inside me I avoid to understand why a person may want to keep the baggage and clutter around.
What reward or payment is stronger than the feeling of joy and relief that comes from a clean, flowing space?
If you want the coping strategies only, skip to the bottom.
A Multi-layered mess
Not sure about you, but for me clearing out baggage is multi-layered.
I have emotional baggage from a history of childhood & adolescent abuse + bullying.
And the photo shows my environmental baggage – aka clutter. There are piles of it throughout my home.
Along with all that baggage is:
- Physical clutter in the form of pain management and body memories
- Energetic clutter in what’s stuck inside my body or attached and draining me from the inside out
- And mental clutter that gives me permission to procrastinate and avoid dealing with the limiting beliefs and fear that has me collecting things and keeping stuff instead of clearing it out.
- Because clearing out baggage in one area won’t work unless I clear it from all areas
In Other Words...
The disorganized mess you see in my apartment is a reflection of the baggage I hold inside of me.
That keeps me from clearing out baggage.
Baggage Clearing Challenges
There are many demands on time these days. Work, family, friends, house chores, and so on. No one has time, not even in lock down.
Are you so busy during the day or even that all you want to do is sit or lie down and relax whenever you get a moment to yourself? Or maybe just the thought of clearing out baggage and clutter makes you feel tired?
It’s too expensive to clear out all this. I/you/we/she/he can’t take time off from (insert project here) to organize the mess and haul away. And lock down means you can’t go anywhere or hire help.
Negative/Limiting Beliefs, Thoughts and Self Talk
I can’t do this. It’s genetic; everyone in my family lives this way. I’ll never be able to change. It’s too big a job, and even if I succeed now, it’ll go back to the way it was before. Why bother?
A person thinks about cleaning out the closet and gets a headache. Or maybe starts cleaning with enthusiasm, but then a sharp pain in the back or shoulder or knee distracts them into stopping and taking care of the pain instead.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. I have and continue to experience these challenges as I clear clutter and get ready to remove it this week.
Self Care & Coping Strategies
I am not going to lie to you. Clearing out baggage is a difficult challenge.
It won’t be the last time either. Facing one’s so-called demons, acknowledging and working with one’s inner shadows or whatever you want to call it is a lifelong process.
No one’s inner monsters are easier or harder than another’s challenges. Inner monsters all hurt the individual and all the beings connected to them.
Monsters in My Mind
I call mine the “monsters in my mind”. What do you call yours?
That’s one coping strategy by the way. It’s called Self Awareness. Or Acknowledging one’s weaknesses/flaws.
Another is to make friends with one’s weaknesses. I do that through meditation and self reflection. How can you work with your perceived weaknesses – aka flaws or shadows?
Something else I do is practice Cognitive Reframing and Affirmations. The first lessons came from psychotherapy – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique.
*But the spirit-based personal growth books I read have shown me how to apply the skills in real life.*
Finally, I consider clutter clearing a form of both self care and self protection. As such, I take breaks and give myself space to stop and feel what’s happening inside me. Grief, shame, joy, excitement, tiredness, and peace are just a few of the emotions and body sensations I’ve encountered this week.
Comfort Cuddles & Fear
The last self care or coping strategy deserves its own section.
Comfort cuddles are physical, emotional, spiritual, or virtual displays of affection, love, and care from one being to another.
Here, I am talking about YOU. Yes you are your best cheerleader and source of support to accomplish goals.
It sounds corny, but that is the truth.
You may be thinking, “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I bet everyone supports her doing this.” Or something similar.
How can someone like me who seems to have her life together struggle with clearing our baggage.
And you’d be wrong. Lots of people in my life disapprove of how I choose to live it and what I do with my time.
They also love me unconditionally and do their best to support me.
That second part is what I focus on.
That’s the source of my comfort cuddles. I get physical ones from Gale, my cat, and virtual ones from family/loved ones sometimes. My faith and spiritual practices give me hugs and cuddles and comfort too. I lean hard on the unconditional love my faith provides when everything seems too much.
Maybe these strategies will help. Maybe not. Either way, thank you for your time.
Love and Rainbows,