Marie Kondo says that in order to free your house from trash, you need to take every thing in it, hold it to yourself and feel whether it is yours or not. If a thing does not cause a spark of joy in you, says Marie, then you need to get rid of it. Condo books are very popular. It seems to us that the idea is close that you can put all your things in a heap, seeing the real scale of accumulations, and then not without effort, but organically get rid of all that is superfluous. I thought: why is it so difficult for us to pile up all the non-things and, sorting out one after another, to get rid of everything that is not ours, not us? It is much better to live without trash, not only in the closet, but also in the heart, memory and head.
“Now imagine,” said the trainer, “that today, right this evening, you will not be. What will be written on your tombstone? He (a) lived (a) so that … So what?”
I thought about it. I wanted to be as honest as possible with myself. How do I actually live my life and does it correspond to the way I want? With anger, I thought that the worst for me, but a very real answer would be: "She lived to solve our problems." Never and for nothing do I want to solve other people's problems, if I know for sure that I will not get something equivalent in return. I don’t want to be someone’s resource from which leeches are fed, often capable, but not willing to lead any other way of life other than parasitic.
In an era of ongoing shallow social interaction, we are all infinitely overwhelmed by accumulating contacts. Thousands of "friends" on social networks, duplicate messages in several messengers, streams of meaningless information. Connections that, like mistletoe, grow and deprive of strength to the very roots. All these important acquaintances with whom you do not share any common values. Which do not give anything, but always ask for something: attention, free advice, a good relationship. Former lovers who want to be “friends”, but in fact just feed their narcissistic trauma, gaining recognition of the value of their life, in which they themselves do not see the value. Relatives who click on the “family” button only when they need something. At its core – a kind of many voids that are filled with your resource. But why do we surround ourselves with such people?
We never do what we do not need. All this is important, all this finds a place in life, even makes up a large part of it, while we are interested in playing this game. While it is important to save or be a victim in the eyes of others. While playing the role is preferable, safer than showing up, presenting yourself and your vulnerability. That is, to plunge into processes that mark the birth of a person. When a person is born, everything superfluous is exfoliated.
When we refuse the proposed role, they so often shout after us or in person: “How can you? Shame on you ?! ”This manipulation is a cry of despair, the last attempt to hold fingers sliding off the control buttons. This cry can be translated like this: “How can you not suffer? How can you live your life, when you are bursting with emotions and feelings that you simply can’t even realize? How can you strive to be a person, find meanings when "I don’t live here, I just survive life, and then with difficulty?" It really hurts to feel. And a person in this state can cause a lot of empathy. But no matter how much it is, it certainly does not create an extra resource to be thrown into this hole, which cannot be filled by nature. Because such holes are not filled from the outside, only from the inside.
Sensing this impulse, I began to sort through all the components of my life, one after another, to get rid of everything that is not-me, not-mine, not-about-me, and give space for the movement of a sprouting personality. It turned out to be incredibly nice. Steeper than a shower after a week's hike, than a massage after intense training, and even than eating in bed. This "existential cleaning" is always easy, with healthy aggression and delineation of its borders, but not out of resentment or denial. It’s like finding old photographs that were once carefully preserved in a closet, and without feeling anything, throwing them out without anger, without hysteria, is completely natural. Like any other garbage that just needs to be thrown away. Because what is in these pictures, and they themselves do not cause a spark of joy – they take away, and therefore they have no more room in the house. Having cleaned my house, I realized that I was full of feelings of falling in love. But if you ask who I am in love with or what, I can answer: I have an affair with this moment of life – the moment of birth and manifestation of my deepest personality.
If I die today, what will they write on my tombstone? I took a pen and wrote in a notebook: “She lived to feel and live the beauty and awe of this world.”
What are you living about?
See also: Saturday column: Female friendship – myth or reality?