Toss out the junk

Confession time! I am a recovering hoarder. Allow me qualify that though, I have never been at the level where someone had to come into my house and throw out things that I couldn’t get rid of myself. I did show tendencies of not being able to get rid of useful things though. I think its a kind of culture some people grow up with. If there’s a lack you are always thinking that there might not be enough of something in days to come and you tend to hold onto it. Maybe you think you won’t have enough money to buy something so you don’t throw out things. My weakness was art supplies. Even things like egg boxes and cardboard and string. Granted, given the time I would have been able to make some nice art from those things. But I don’t have the time. And my clothes closet. I’m a really bad clothes shopper so I tend to hold onto clothes that are comfortable, or that I think I might just wear again. One day, however, I went into the house of a hoarder and I decided that I would not put my family through the pain of having to toss out my junk. I started with my clothing first. I threw out everything I didn’t wear, didn’t fit me or that I didn’t like. Then I proceeded to my art and needlework supplies. After that my books and lastly the kitchen. It took a huge weight off my shoulders. Obviously I didn’t get rid of all my art and sewing supplies. I kept the things that I really use. It took such a burden off my shoulders. I worked out a system for storing things and it simplified my life to such an extent that I can spend time on the things that really feed my soul.

The best known verse about hoarding things must be Matthew 6:19, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” If we spend a weekend away at a self catering cottage I always marvel at how minimalist the space is and how comfortable I feel. There aren’t any unnecessary distractions. A few nice paintings or pictures on the wall. A bowl on a table. No ornaments and niknaks decorating every space. Just calm, tranquillity and peace. There’s a saying that goes, “A healthy body houses a healthy mind.” I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. I think we need to declutter our minds in order to have them functioning at a healthy level. It’s relatively easy to get rid of the clutter in your house. There are things that will always be sentimental, and there’s nothing wrong with having special furniture, books or photos. I have a shoebox with the very first clothes both my children wore after they were born, but I didn’t keep all their baby clothes. Just like that, there are memories and incidents we can store in the shoe boxes of our brain, but we don’t have to have it so jam-packed with memories that we have to wade through all the trash to get to the important stuff.

Our minds are often so full of hurts, resentment and even hate that we can’t live a normal life. We have to keep sifting through the sands of the past and filtering out what we don’t need. Anything that causes pain should be picked up and looked at. The answer is always forgiveness. Forgive the person who caused the pain. Sometimes its even yourself you have to forgive. Remember, forgiveness isn’t a feeling, its a decision. Do the forgiving you have to and toss it out. It’s taking up space you can use for a good memory. I remember having to forgive a teacher I had in grade 2 for saying something hurtful. I was 47 at the time. It had been causing me to think that there was something wrong with me for almost 40 years! It’s totally ridiculous that we don’t get taught to deal with things like this when we are kids. Please, I beg you, if you can’t unclutter your mind of past hurts by yourself, go to a counsellor who will be able to assist you, it’s just not worth living with all that junk. Toss it out and start living.

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