I often seek out analogies and metaphors, they speak to me because they remind me that the human experience is collective, and this soothes me because it helps me to remember: I am not alone. An analogy I have been thinking about recently is bin bags and basements (very glamorous I know!)
Think of the mind as a house, which has a certain amount of clutter in. And the basement is our past. It’s where we tend to store the stuff that we don’t want to look at and haven’t taken time to process yet. Any time we go through a difficult experience that we are yet to resolve, we put it in a bin bag in the basement.
Our bin bags may differ in number and content but we all have them.
Some of us have basements bursting at the seams, meaning that if you ever do open that door, it’s going to be difficult to shut it again. Others of us have cleared a lot but we hav Te a few bags which are particularly full and are seeping out “bin juice” – both stinky and sticky! Others may have a pretty clear basement with a few bags that need to be taken off to be recycled and they just need a hand getting there.
I see these bin bags and basement as a metaphor for the emotional stuff that needs to go. And I see one of my roles as a coach is to go through these bin bags with you and set you free.
Change is easier the less bin bags you have.
How many bin bags we have has a huge impact on our everyday life, as our emotional clutter directly determines how we perceive and experience life.
If we have a lot of anger and resentment inside of us, that wound is going to get touched and made sore in everyday life until we address what’s underneath it.
If we have a lot of sadness and grief in our basement, sadness and disappointment are likely to show up in our external life until we clear them internally.
Pain is a clear sign that our bin bags have accumulated, as are fear, anxiety, depression, money problems, lack of libido, low self esteem.
Going through our “stuff” alone is often a lonely experience, especially the mixed bags, e.g. some sadness, some anger, some stuckness. Clearing out the basement of the bin bags means addressing that which needs addressing.
Think for a moment about what would shift if you cleared out your basement, would it be:
- Your money
- Your health
- Your relationships (and/or leaving toxic ones!)
- Making peace with your past
- Re-engaging with forgotten dreams
- Making a career change
- Moving house
- Connecting with your creativity
- Feeling more light, letting yourself begin again.
If you need help with clearing out any of your bin bags, or entering your basement or even contemplating entering your basement, do not enter the basement alone! I am here. I’m an expert at getting my hands dirty and clearing all that old stuff in a safe, held and even joyful way.
Finally, I just want to add this: it can feel like we each have an endless amount of bin bags, that we will never get through it. What I want to say is that this isn’t my experience. Instead we each have a certain amount of bin bags and it is possible to clear these. There is hope.
When you are ready to clear out that basement, I am here.
Image and text by Rhona Clews.