I'm embarrassed to admit this but here goes. For 3 years now I've been wanting to clean out the closets in our home. You know a real spring cleaning, throw out old stuff, organize what we do want and make a real commitment to living an organized life. For 3 years I have had this desire.
On the surface it sounds so easy ... take a day and just tackle the project. For 3 years I've lived with the frustration of opening a closet and having to dig for what I needed or the annoyance of having my husband run to the store to buy a new power cord only to find out later that we already had one.
For 3 years cleaning the closets has been on my to-do list. For 3 years I've lived with the stress of this, the guilt around not doing it and the anxiety of it buzzing around in my head. Was I loosing sleep over it ... no, but for 3 years it did cause emotional strife in my inner world and occasionally led to arguments with hubby over why we owned so many power cords.
The good news is I finally did it! In 2 short days my husband and I cleaned out the closets and made a Good Will run. While sorting through we used some of the time to reminisce over shared memories but mostly just treated the project as a fun way to spend some time together rather than the dreaded chore that it had become in my mind.
Now that its done its hard to understand why it became such a large thing in my brain -- but it did. Whenever I thought about cleaning the closets George, my brain, would start: its such a big project its going to take forever, what if you need some of the stuff you throw out, you work hard all week why would you spend your day off working, on and on the arguments went ... the more I put it off the bigger the arguments got. And the bigger the arguments got the bigger the dread of doing it grew.
With gentleness and compassion sorting out the brain's messages is very important work. Things usually seem BIGGER in our brains then they actually are. The on-going work of stress reduction is latching on to the thoughts that are workable and letting the other thoughts just float on by.
Had I cleaned the closets 3 years ago I would have saved myself a lot of emotional stress and gosh knows we would own fewer power cords.