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5th Jan


“A Drawer Full of Stuff” Guest Blog


A Drawer Full Of Stuff – D S Nelson

Have you ever tried to find something important in a drawer full of stuff? Old letters, blue tac, Christmas cracker toys, photographs, batteries that don’t work, curtain hooks, picture hooks, wall plugs, screw drivers when what you really want is that first class stamp you know is in there somewhere.

I lost my mum when I was five months pregnant and found myself with a new baby and a drawer full of stuff: guilt, anger and sadness. What I really wanted was to be able to enjoy the wonderful life I have.

Emotions are like stuff. Each one has a use and a purpose but if they are shoved away, all together in a drawer somewhere, then when the time comes you won’t be able to find what’s important.

It was James Wallman’s book Stuffocation that first got me thinking about the idea of stuff. After reading just a few chapters of his book I realised that I had collected a lot of objects in my life that I no longer used. Clothes that hadn’t been worn for over five years and could easily go to a better use if given to charity. Books, ornaments, old takeaway boxes, all held onto with the thought that one day they might be of use, when in actual fact they were taking up valuable space; space for the new.

Once the excess physical stuff was gone, it was clear to see that I needed to do the same thing emotionally in order to create the space to think and to grow. More importantly I needed to learn how to be present for my daughter.

The emotions I had collected throughout my life were holding me back. That’s not to say that these feelings aren’t useful. Of course they are. Fear protects us from crossing the road when we shouldn’t. Anger, when used in the right way, can defend us against threats. Happiness shows us what we should seek. Peace allows us to be present. The problem comes when versions of these emotions affect the way we react to future situations. We need to unlearn the old ways. Connect and harness our feelings as emotions that are naturally transient not finite.

The world will show us the path to take. In our relationships, our actions and even our dreams. It’s hard to hear when there’s stuff in the way, so every now and then the drawer needs clearing out. Counselling and Emotional Wellness Coaching is one way to do this. By identifying the stuff that’s in the way we learn to concentrate on the road as we walk it. Not to look too far forward or back but to be present in our journey and read the signs as they show us which way to go, learning how to navigate a route through the stuff to find the first class stamp.


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Jane Andreoli

2016-01-06 13:55:38 Reply

Very true, and very well expressed.


2016-10-23 10:05:25 Reply

It’s great to find an expert who can expalin things so well

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