I get the uncontrollable urge to control everything around me when I feel like my insides are complete chaos.
I basically convince myself that if I can just fix that "one little thing" outside of me, all will be well within. But, this is just not true.
This attempt to avoid my feelings and inner work by controlling the outside instead turns into things like...
1. Going through a complete, unreasonable purge of my closet. In this phase, I'm not throwing away things because they need to be tossed, but because I'm desperately seeking for anything I can throw away so I don't have to look at what I need to rid myself of, within.
2. Demanding of myself (and spouse) that everything in my/our life needs to be orderly, set up, ready to go, and/or on its way already. That dream house? We should've already bought it by now. The car I want? WHY the hell can't we afford it yet?! The social life I think we should have? What is so WRONG with us that we can't make any freaking friends?! (I'm a lovely partner to be around when I'm in this phase.)
3. Eating everything in the house. The weight I've gained over the past couple months is no coincidence, friend. There's a discomfort and a reason behind it: it's easier to stuff down my feelings with food and hide behind the flubber than it is to dig out my truth and nourish myself with kindness.
...and so much more.
Now obviously, not every day is like this. And it doesn't always get this extreme! But I did find myself last week frantically going through another phase of trying to clean out my drawers, my closet, my husband's stuff...and I had to stop, take a pause, and ask myself "Why? What pain is causing this aggressive action?"
I am all for minimalism and the Marie Kondo method (die-hard fan, in fact!) But these methods/lifestyles are founded in simplicity and streamlined focus. Not panic and fear and worry and distraction.
It's all well and good to throw things away we don't need. It's all well and good to be in the driver's seat and take massive action for ourselves and in our lives.
But coming from a place of fear, distraction, and avoidance? That's not so good.
And coming from a place of fear, distraction, and avoidance, I realized, was exactly what I was doing.
I realized that I was waging war on the physical items around me due to the inner, seemingly uncontrollable war that was raging within me. (a.k.a. pain)
Sitting with my feelings meant discomfort. And discomfort meant more pain (for the moment, until I moved through it, but I was unwilling to do that.) So naturally, my body moved into action. It was trying anything to keep me out of pain and keep me moving forward. I was feeling it anyway, but at least I was distracted. At least I was doing stuff. Not having to cry or feel feelings or take responsibility for whatever it was that was causing unrest within me.
But in the moment, I realized: no matter how much I threw away, no matter how much I cleaned up or fixed or changed or bought or sold, none of this stuff was going to help until I got my act together on the inside and got this straightened out.
Did this mean I needed to play it cool and make my emotions wrong and make myself not feel? Absolutely not. Did it mean I needed to take responsibility for the war that was going on inside of me and sit down and hear myself out? Yes.
We are only responsible for ourselves, our feelings, and our experiences. But so often we transfer that self-responsibility to other people, things, experiences outside of us. Somehow it's easier. Somehow we can see more clearly what should be different about other people, other experiences, and other things.
But should we choose to place this focus and energy, in a loving way, on the inside (and I hope we will), I think we'll find that we access peace much more quickly, blast apart blocks that keep us from manifesting, and open our hearts and souls up to greater and deeper connection.
And plus, then the next time I declutter I won't accidentally toss away that purple workout shirt that I super duper love, just because I was in a mode of trying desperately to fix my insides by controlling my outsides.