Cleaning out closets can be a lot like beginning a diet plan. Myriad diets begin with a great purge-- I typed it in to google and found 750,000 hits relating to diets and purging or "detoxing." One diet had you drink salt water for a day or two to help you clean out your colon-- eliminate all the waste that has built up and is clogging up the system.
So, how is your closet cleaning going? Did it get crazy messy? The first box is the worst; honest, I promise.
I started this process last week. I opened my marriage box of hurt. That one was tough. I started pulling out all the old icky hurts, the "shirts" that were stained and battered and torn, but I hadn't get rid of because they represented my battle wounds; scars that I was kind of proud of. These shirts were so rough and tough they could literally climb out of the closet and harass me. I was tired of holding on to them-- having them effect me in the moments when I least wanted them to. But how do you get rid of a box of hurt?
Don't you wish you could just flush your boxes of hurt down the toilet and be done with it! Like that salt water diet purge, you may experience cramps, and bloating before you get to the flush part. This is what my toilet flushing looked like:
1. I opened up the box and embraced the pain. I let it wash over me. Sometimes it the pain was so intense it took my breath away. I wrote all the hurt down in my journal. I cried in between sentences. It wasn't pretty. (Think drinking that salty sludge to clear everything out-- yucky but essential)
2. I prayed to my God and told him about my pain. How much I hurt and how I didn't want to carry it anymore. I felt a gentle peace asking me what He could do to fix it. I thought about it, and all I needed was a genuine apology and expression of love-- something I felt like I couldn't get from the perpetrators of hurt. You might feel like you need something different to make it right. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need to heal and ask the someone who can really give you exactly what you need. It might be your God, your best friend, your mentor. Allow that person to act for the person who hurt you. Accept and embrace the love you desperately need. Write down the love you feel in that journal! (Walk to the toilet)
3. I let all the pain go. Actually it just disappeard when I acceped the love of my God and His apology in behalf of another. Pardon the analogy, but it really was as easy as flushing the toilet. It was gone. It hasn't bothered me since.
The best part of that purge was being able to truly love again. Love myself, love my family, love my husband, LOVE MYSELF! Second best part was that all the other boxes that seemed insurmountable, are not so big now. I opened the '95 box and expected a big mess. But, I found that the first apology for something completely different had covered the hurt in that box too. It feels almost like Christmas here with all the box opening-- with the added benefit that I don't have to write creative thank you notes for each gift I don't like:)
In my faith we call the ability of our God to take our hurts and heal our wounds the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for His love and the gift of healing that has come to my heart. I hope you find the same peace and love I did.
Tomorrow: A New Mantra