The Is-ness of Things

I’ve heard a few stories of storerooms, garages and sheds filled with clutter that refuses to be sorted. Or at least that’s how it sounds. It’s as if the room itself had shut its doors to resist intrusion.

What is really behind that door? Is it a space full of recriminations, guilt and self-blame. A room of dreams unfulfilled, an era lost, a hope abandoned, or a swirl of uncomfortable emotions. It can feel as if the spaces in our lives contain the physical manifestation of our thoughts and feelings. If the objects and associated meanings have merged, it will be very difficult to approach the task of sorting through them without feeling drawn in and overwhelmed.

You might decide to forge ahead, telling yourself “it’s only stuff”. And of course in one sense that’s true. But that’s small consolation if it doesn’t feel true in the moment.  Rather than sifting through the stuff, you can start by sifting through your reactions to the stuff; to separate your thoughts and feelings from the physical objects. Can you recognize the thoughts that race through your mind, and allow them to be still? Or at least know that they are just thoughts. Can you notice the emotions that arise and realise that these feelings are not the full story of who you are?

Be in the room, calm and still; just be with what’s there. The Is-ness of things-as-they-are.  We don’t need to demonize objects as junk in order to cast them out, nor do we need to worship them as the reality of who we are, could have been, or should be. Let things be as they are, and give that same space to yourself, to be who you are, free of judgement and recrimination.

Perhaps by taking time to experience the is-ness of things, the objects will speak to you themselves. Maybe they will let you in and tell you what they need. You will have created space for a conversation about how things are in this moment that could lead you peacefully into the next.

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