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OCD – Opportune Cleansing and Dismantlement?

I’m not fully sure what is happening lately, but while I was wiping out my freezer after having cleared it out and purged lots of old stuff, I had to start questioning whether I was undergoing a mid-life OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) crisis or whether my behavior was more reflective of the inner changes that have been happening in my life.

The freezer along wouldn’t have been enough to prompt this post, but two days prior, I also completely cleaned out my pantry, again purging it and reorganizing it. Oh, and in the past couple of months, I’ve cleared out and organized my photography storage closet, zip locked and organized all sorts of miscellaneous electronics cords/chargers/adapters, did some major work on my garage/storage area, caught up on tracking all finances in Quicken and reconciled various accounts, and filed all my papers including a couple of boxes of papers that have accumulated over the past few years. I also keep all of my photographic images organized and archived using Adobe Lightroom. You know, as I look at this, I think I’d even have to add in getting my family tree up and going on the genealogical tracking site www.geni.com. Is this really just that feeling I wrote about in my last post of needing to get all my ducks in a row so I can feel more calm inside, or is it activity that is more reflective of the inner calm that has largely developed in my life over the past year? It’s a good question.

Partly, the answer is practical, as I’ve been renting out my home to vacationers often and am about to depart the house and travel for awhile again as vacationers take over my house for the holidays and beyond. I like having a clean/clear house for renters (so they have room in the pantry for their things and space in the freezer, etc.. True, but it all feels bigger than just that.

We did some work in my spiritual group a few years ago that we referred to as “The Citadel” which in part had to do with making the changes necessary in your life to better support one’s spiritual unfoldment. To me that has taken the form of simplifying, organizing and also living in a beautiful, nature-infused place. Clutter and dirt, at least to my spirit, do not promote that inner stillness that I have been working on cultivating. Building one’s “Citadel” can also take the forms of clearing out non-supportive relationships, clearing up issues within the important relationships in our lives, and of course some form of “right livelihood.”

So what’s the underbelly of all of this? Without an underbelly of some sort, there isn’t much reason for me to write here, as again, I like to use this space to try to flush out underlying truths that sometimes have more difficulty reaching the light of day. For me, that underbelly would probably be a control issue, wanting everything around me to be in place, where I want it to be. There is also a “grasping” of sorts to the Citadel, a stronger emotional pull to have everything lined up and organized. (FYI, in case you didn’t really know “Grasping” is a big no no in Buddhist and other spiritual circles). If I look at my childhood, it was a bit chaotic and a little ungrounded, complete with a broken family, a rebellious and sometimes violent brother, and persistent financial strife within the household. I’m honestly not complaining, but I think that having been spawned in that environment, there is a residual deeper desire to have everything be organized, comfortable and predictable. Put another way, there is a drive in me that also wants everything to be under control so as not to remain vulnerable to outside forces.

And so here I am, in a very well organized house, without much clutter, with half of my freezer completely vacant and a sparkly organized pantry, with now the space to wonder whether I’m trying naturally and healthfully to engender a stillness or whether I’m trying more graspingly to do so, It’s an open question for now, and by writing this, I hope that I am bringing it more to the forefront to be explored and better understood.


2 replies on “OCD – Opportune Cleansing and Dismantlement?”

Rachel's Dad might appear to be a bit compulsive in his organization. He has a pen outline of every tool on his peg board and everything is neat and orderly. I told him I thought he was very motivated and he explained that he is actually very lazy and being organized takes the least amount of effort. Interesting twist I thought. So consider the possibility that you are naturally streamlining your life in order to free up more time for sitting on the cushion or other pursuits.

I think being organized is fine. No need to tear ur motives apart. Good for you, if u enjoy it, why not? It’s good feng shui. Keeps ur energy flowing.

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