living lighter – dealing with the mess

In this pause between Christmas and the New year I have (as is my habit) been reflecting on this year. As you know the theme for this year was living lighter. It is easy to snatch a phrase out of the ether and say ”this is my theme for the year”. It is much more interesting to ponder how this theme has impacted my reality.

And the reality is, when you make room in your life, when you slow down, when you intentionally declutter, and deliberately stop being busy, you notice things. For me things got harder, because suddenly I realised the root cause of my busyness was not life, was not even life with children, but was of my own making. And it was a mask for feelings that hadn’t been resolved for a number of years.

For me slowing down wasn’t easy, because suddenly I had emotional pain that was near the surface, that I could no longer hide with my busyness, pain that demanded my attention and action.


And so I did, I gathered my clan around me to support me, and I sought professional help to work through the issues. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t pretty, and for a while there I didn’t feel lighter. I felt heavier, weighed down by unresolved emotion.

Sometimes ‘living lighter’, doesn’t actually look or feel lighter for a little while. Sometimes, it is actually harder. When you are standing in a room surrounded by piles of stuff to sort it feels very messy. It takes time, it feels like a bigger more painful mess for a while, and you wonder why you even got started. Whether it be meticulously going through old papers one by one, or sitting in a room talking and crying and re-examining old pains. But I tell you when you reach the end and that cupboard is cleared, or that room is sorted or those feelings have been dealt with. Then, then you feel lighter. On that day you look around and say, yes all this mess was worth it, because it was.

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