The comments from my previous post: “Does What You Collect Effect What You Attract to Yourself?” brought up two things for me to ponder.
Two: My family has a garage sale almost every year to get rid of unwanted stuff. It does truly amaze me what people will pay money for. When I look for items to put in the sale I ask questions like: Does it still have a purpose in my life? If no — it’s gone. Do I have too many of this item? — If yes — duplicates are gone. Is it busted? It’s gone. Does it no longer match my taste? It’s gone. Does it somehow make me unhappy such as it only collects dust which gives me more work? It’s gone.
With tangible items it seems straightforward — go through the house in the Spring and pull everything out of the cupboards and closets and fridge and get rid of what doesn’t work. But how often do we Spring clean the non-tangible stuff? The grudge or resentment or anger or hurt or envy or apathy…? My mom has always shaken her head in disbelief because for most of my life I’ve had a place in my home that is a junk drawer or closet or cupboard — where stuff that I don’t know what to do with gets tossed.
I find that inside myself for most of my life I’ve had an emotional junk drawer. Like buttons that I hold onto even though I no longer have the shirt — I often have hurt feelings that I hold onto even though I no longer have those friends. Like electronic cords that connected to a computer that has long since been dismantled — I still have the fear of abandonment from a painful breakup twenty years ago.
In my fifties, if I had held onto every item I ever possessed, I wouldn’t be able to move in my house. All that stuff wouldn’t add to the quality of my life. It would take me weeks to sort through the stuff to find the one item I needed. Items that I cherished would be buried under garbage. This is what I found with my love. I buried it under a lot of old and new grievances and resentments. If I hold onto every wrong that has been done to me whether it is getting cut off in traffic or being stood up for a date or a friend hurting my feelings or even against those who knowingly putting toxic chemicals in products — if I don’t clean all that out and I just toss it into an emotional junk drawer — soon all that negative junk will take over my entire being.
When cleaning out a junk drawer all the stuff has to be pulled out and assessed for its value and then “good” stuff is put back in and the non-usable stuff is disposed of. An emotional junk drawer is no different — all the emotions that are being held onto need to be pulled out into the light and assessed — which are worth holding onto and which need to be forgiven and disposed of.
When was the last time you cleaned out your emotional junk drawer? How do you practice forgiveness?