Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm by being quintessentially Japanese. I know. I lived there and was trained by a Marie Kondo-ish Japanese companion who was horrified by nearly everything I did and said! But it was a great experience. The Japanese are the masters of minimalism; less really is more there. If you live in the Japanese style, you learn to value quiet, clear spaces in the home, and in the mind and soul. Kondo reminds us that anxiety is often the result of having too much of what we don't need cluttering our lives. Of course, she is so perfect that it's hard not to get a bit snarky about it ...
Totally unruffled by this kind of sarcasm, Marie gently reminds us that;
"Anxiety arises from not being able to see the whole picture. If you feel anxious, but are not sure why, try putting your things in order. Tidying your physical space allows you to tend to your psychological space.”
“The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up”
Get Those Inner Spaces Cleaned Out
So, if cleaning up our physical surroundings can help us feel less overwhelmed, imagine how good we would feel if we cleaned up that "inner vessel" of ours? Which brings us to the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus's teachings give us a beautiful opportunity to clear out all of those inner goblins that don't "spark joy" in our souls. Holding on to some bitterness? Throw it out. Envy? Toss it. Lust? It's like a toxic spill in your soul, so get rid of it before it surprises you and jumps out of hiding when you least expect it! Nothing stays hidden, and every negative emotion we harbor does damage to ourselves and eventually to others.
Well, cleaning up can be a difficult process, and it can feel discouraging to try to be the kind of person Jesus describes in the Sermon on the Mount. But the good news is, we don't have to do this alone. The point is to have the courage to let Jesus into our hearts and then let His light shine through us. He's so shiny that we just have to show up and be the vessel; He brings all the wattage. He says simply, "Everyone that asks, receives" that light. That's everyone. Just ask.
Dieter Uchtdorf gives a beautiful (and encouraging) description of what it means to "let your light so shine before men, that they will see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." (Matt 7:33)
“Every time you turn your hearts to God in humble prayer, you experience His light. Every time you seek His word and will in the scriptures, the light grows in brightness. Every time you notice someone in need and sacrifice your own comfort to reach out in love, the light expands and swells. Every time you reject temptation and choose purity, every time you seek or extend forgiveness, every time you courageously testify of truth, the light chases away darkness and attracts others who are also seeking light and truth.”
So when you make your bed and tidy up your room, remember to say an extra prayer and ask Jesus to help you tidy up your soul. Toss out a few of those raggedy old bits of emotional baggage that are cluttering up your inner space, and feel how much joy that sparks!