So, I thought I would be back sooner with some more details about getting rid of the "heart clutter" but I got a little side-lined doing none other than MY OWN SPRING CLEANING. Go figure.
As Spring has sprung I have committed to going through my entire house doing a deep cleaning. I began this ambitious project with the dreaded master closet.
Ohhh myy worrrd! I was instantly reminded of how grueling and overwhelming the process can be. My husband worked alongside me all day Sunday as we purged and scrubbed (it was better to have him there to make the decisions about his clothes and clutter).
Once we finished up in the closet I moved into the Master bath, scrubbing and cleaning out drawers and cupboards. It has been a busy few days, with clutter and piles to pilfer through. Now that I am done with this area though I have to say I just love walking in there, it feels so refreshing. Once I was done I lit a few candles and did a few decorating touches and it felt so rewarding.
We are going to stay on this topic and talk about the purging a bit more.
I just looked up the word PURGE and the definition is: 1) the act of clearing yourself (or another) from some stigma or charge. 2) the act of removing by cleansing; ridding of sediment or other undesired elements. Sounds spot on to our topic.
Let's talk about this physical purging we do in our homes, cars, work spaces. What we fail to realize is that we live in a state of clutter and frustration much too long when all it takes is stopping and taking care of business.
Certainly it takes TIME. That one thing none of us seem to feel as if we have enough of. Yet I venture to say we can manage to squeeze in a chore here and there to make it more manageable. What if you were to carve out maybe a half an hour a day or an afternoon on the weekend?
First step is to pull out your planner and see where you can squeeze it in. Schedule it in. I had known all week long we were going to be spending our Sunday on this project. We had gone to church on Saturday evening so we had the entire day.
Second step is to show up ready to knock it out. Trash bags, cleaning rags, and a determined mind to get the job done. I will admit that half way through my closet I was ready to say "I quit." Since quitting mid-project was not an option (neither one of us were willing to trip over piles til I felt ready again, ha!) I poured us a fresh glass of iced tea and turned on some music. Hey, whatever it takes right?
One of the ways this de-cluttering works best for us is; we pile up all of the things we need to "go through" (like the stack of magazines my husband had acquired) and set them aside and do it at a different time. For instance, Jim has been bringing piles of magazines into the living room in the evenings while watching "The Voice" the past two nights processing the ones he wants to keep and what he is going to toss.
Of course all this talk about Spring cleaning leads us to think about our heart clutter and the things that have been sitting there, cluttering up the precious space within us. Often times we just keep pushing things down instead of facing the inevitable which is; we need to deal with it (whatever "it" happens to be). It could be a wounded friendship, a broken heart, old wounds that have sat dormant for a very long time creating residual wounds.
So how do we even begin to know what these things are and what to do about them?
In Soul Steps I talk about looking for the "symptoms." Those are your signs. When you get sick you begin to show symptoms and those are the very things that will help you determine exactly what is going on with you, your body. You will take notice of the signs that something is going awry in your body which will be a warning that you need to do something about it. You have a persistent cough, a pain in your stomach, a high fever, these are all indicators that you need to see a doctor.
Same thing holds true for a heart symptom. We are being warned that there is something not quite right, something we have held on to for too long and it is causing emotional distress, that we need to see THEE doctor.Those symptoms can be something like: excess anxiety, frustration, depression, fear, doubt, lack of self-esteem, anger, the list goes on and on.
I encourage you to take a deep look into your own heart and see if you are beginning to show signs of wear and tear of a heart worn out from carrying a load it is not meant to carry.
Are you displaying symptoms that may be signs of underlying struggles?
Have you been holding on to the pain of being mis-treated as a child? Is the pain of a failed marriage hanging on with a death grip? Are you tired of believing the lies that continue to roll around in your mind? Have you been walked on one too many times?
Start digging out the heart clutter that is stifling your peace and joy. Right now that is all you need to do, just begin digging it out without worrying about what to do with it. Just like my husband has been doing with his piles of magazines, we will sit down with it later and determine how to deal with those piles of clutter.
Just like when I was knee deep in piles of shoes and purses wanting to quit, you might find yourself ready to throw in the towel before the work is completed. You might just have to fix yourself a fresh glass of iced tea and turn on some good Christian music and allow Him to penetrate your soul, infusing you with energy and courage.
I promise you it is well worth the hard work, effort and determination.