This week I am moving for the sixth time in eight years. Every time I move, I get rid of more things. It always amazes me how much stuff you can collect over just one year and not even know it. I’ve been reading more and listening to podcasts on minimalism and living a more simple life. The Simple Show is one podcast I subscribe to where Tsh Oxenreider discusses simple living. She says it’s not just about getting rid of your stuff but it’s about living holistically with your life’s purpose. I’ve thought a lot about how I could live a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle. Since I’ve started my journey to Finding Grace, I am living more intentional to declutter my soul... So, how much more should I take a look at the things around me and declutter my space as well?
This week I began emptying drawers, making Goodwill piles and filling trash bags with paper and junk that isn’t relevant to my life anymore. You would be surprised how many irrelevant things you can keep in a 550 sq ft apartment without even noticing it; a lot of junk on the inside but not on display.
Isn’t that how we live our life as well? We hold on to things longer than we need to just to regurgitate it again when we feel it’s a good time to bring it back up. Just like I’ve done with the belongings in my apartment, I didn’t realize how much I was holding on to on the inside of me until I started letting things go. Sometimes we have so much going on around us we never slow down long enough to see what’s really going on inside. We toss mail on the counter week after week in the same pile, never taking the time to open it & discard it properly so no one else can destroy our identity.
It’s the same with our soul. I’ve learned this the hard way, as many of us do. In December 2014 I started dating the man of my dreams. He was everything I could have ever asked for (and more). Tall, dark, handsome, educated, worked out, owned his home, Christian and single. Lucky me, right? After dating for a couple months I started going to a Marriage and Family Therapist. I wanted to get rid of the junk on the inside of me so I can learn to have a healthy, balanced relationship.
Let me tell you, there would not be enough pages to begin to write a book on how much JUNK was on the inside of me. So much in fact, it was starting to display on the outside. You know that junk drawer you have in your house that you have to smush everything down to get it closed? And even then sometimes it won’t close all the way. Well, that was me. So much junk on the inside of me, it was starting to overflow in a negative way; from my attitude, to my behavior, my mannerism, everywhere. So much unforgiveness, hate and RAGE inside me. Every time I went to a therapy session it was as if someone took a knife, ripped open my past and served it on a platter saying “Here! Look at it! Feel it! EMBRACE IT!” (In my Kevin Hart voice) I WASN’T READYYYY!
Continuing in a relationship during a period where I was so exposed probably was not the best thing. Needless to say, God has since forced me to be in a place where I am alone to deal with these issues with just me and Him. It just goes to show that you can have everything you want, but if your hands are full, you can’t hold on to anything else. In my case, I had my hands full of my past. So much so it postponed my future until I can declutter the heaviness that’s holding me back.
Just like with our sensitive mail, we have to discard of our past properly so it does not destroy our identity. I’ve always been that person in my family that no one could talk to because I was so angry and got offended so easily. Everyone knew that’s just how I was, so my excuse for everyone else was “This is just how I am.” When I began to properly discard of my past in therapy, I realized that’s NOT who I am! But after 30 years of being “that way”, I’ve already been given that identity.
I’m here to tell you, you are not who people say you are. You are who God says you are. But with that, you have to learn to discard of the JUNK on the inside that overflows and displays on the outside fulfilling what the world says you are. You are better than that. And sometimes it takes slowing down and recognizing what needs to be purged. Maybe there are things from your past that you need to let go of. Or may it’s something that God is trying to give you even better or renewed but you keep holding on to what you’ve always known and your hands are full, so you can’t receive it. It’s time to let it go.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Thank you for joining me in my journal to Finding Grace.
Enjoy the journey