Bad Divorce Put me on a Path of Peace

Dear Pam,

I’m recovering from a horrible divorce and my guilt level was through the roof, because I blamed myself for the domestic state of our affairs.  My housekeeping slipped the more we fought and the clutter exacerbated the incompatibility in our marriage.  But once he was out (six months now) I began to feel relief because there wasn’t his cruel judgment hanging over me.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop judging myself with thoughts that it was my entire fault that the marriage broke up.

One night, in desperation, I prayed for peace and the next day your book found it’s way into my hands.  I’ve heard of books changing one’s life, but until I read The Joy of Being Disorganized, I hadn’t experienced it firsthand.

See a member of my book club suggested we read your book. There are eleven of us and we rarely read “how to” books, but the subject of disorganization comes up regularly, so your book was suggested and accepted!

We enjoyed it immensely and I’ve teamed up with three of the members on a de-cluttering mission we have agreed to take for one year.  We are so dedicated, because you explained in such simple and loving terms, how clutter is the great destroyer of peace!

Pam, the guilt is gone and the material stuff of my past is gradually being ousted from my home.  I have such a feeling of a fresh, free start and at 46 I know good awaits me on my new path to being organized just enough to please me! Thank you!

Much love,
Sarah in S F

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Pam here: Like Sarah, I divorced a very judgmental man and I went through the “what if,” nonsense. What if I’d lost ten pounds? What if I’d cooked better? What if I were more understanding? What if I were organized wasn’t one of the “what ifs,” because getting organized was what put him over the edge.

My sister and I got organized in 1977 and we wrote Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise telling how we did it. All “getting organized” did to him was turn up the heat on his judgment. Now, if I could have read The Joy of Being Disorganized, back in 1978, I would have spared myself the guilt I carried for several years. Guilt from feeling I wasn’t good enough.

I truly believe that clutter (stuff that no longer brings you joy) is the number one destroyer of peace in a home. When Sarah wrote about the “material stuff” of her past, it occurred to me how the material stuff that clutter is, has a voice and when it’s stuff from the past it screams at us and can bring up memories we just don’t need to entertain especially when they’re negative. In The Joy of Being Disorganized, I really focused on eliminating clutter and I’d like to give you that chapter There Arose Such a Clutter. When you consider that each object in your home has a voice, you begin to understand how noisy a cluttered home can be and when you begin to understand what an incredible person you are without decluttering a single object, you will experience renewed energy and an excitement to get organized just enough to please YOU!

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