You know when pile after pile; stack after stack in your wardrobe is just waiting to topple over? And more stuff somehow finds a place and settles? And you take deep breaths, and wait for a day when you would have it figured out, untangled and clean?
I have always been good at organizing things- to the extent that I was nicknamed “Sorted”. But somehow this wardrobe clutter was beyond me. I tried and tried, but I wasn’t able to achieve something that was sustainable and maintainable. Quickly the fact that I wasn’t able to accomplish this petty task became something that I was deeply ashamed of. I didn’t want anyone to see that I was vulnerable, so messy and a downright failure. Clearly I was catastrophising!
Every once in a while I would try and organize small shelves, hoping I would have figured out the puzzle. But it was like an unsolvable Rubik’s cube. I would speak about it sometimes, hoping that someone would realize that I needed help. I never asked anyone, the shame wouldn’t allow me to do that. I have always been an independent person, and I couldn’t bear to think what depending on someone for something so silly would say about me. I kept wondering why I was bogged down by something that I have done so many times. And as you may know answers elude you until you’re ready.
I kept hoping that something inside of me would finally rediscover the strength and skill that this mundane task suddenly required. I didn’t want for someone to magically swipe their fingers and organize it for me. This would only highlight the simplicity of the job. I wished for the clarity that comes with collaboration. I wanted someone to involve me and slowly help me de-clutter. I wanted for someone to ask me how I would like to prioritize and organize all the mess. The beauty of the trust and ‘strength to be seen’ that can emerge in such a collaboration can only be felt by someone who has walked along with another, not one who leads or follows, but one who tries to match the rhythmic pace of the other.
If something so small like a cluttered wardrobe can cause discomfort, frustration and shame, imagine the clutter that comes with life experiences that we are either unwilling or unready and perhaps unequipped to deal with.
But the picture is not so bleak when it comes to de-cluttering one’s mind and life. For such therapeutic help is readily available, reach out to a counsellor nearby.
PS: Ever thankful to my wardrobe organiser.