Ten Days

If you're like me you have done some spring cleaning. It's called spring cleaning because it's the end of winter, we're coming out of a hibernation of sorts, the snow is melting (depending on what part of the country you live in), the flowers are blooming and everything seems new and fresh and we want our surroundings to be new and fresh, so we do our spring cleaning.

I tend to do spring cleaning whenever the spirit moves me -- and that could be at any time. Historically, I have been the kind of person who wants to hold on to things "just in case". Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination but I may still have the cap and gown that my son graduated in and he graduated 12 years ago.

So, recently the spirit moved me to do some spring cleaning. It all started when I was browsing Amazon (as I often do) for shoes. I recently purchased a few cute dresses for the fall, but I wasn’t sure if I had any shoes. I picked out a few pair and added them to my wish list. Then a voice told me not to purchase right away, that I should go through my closet and see if I really needed any new shoes.

There was a period in my life when I was shoe crazy. I knew that I had more than my share of shoes in my closet, but I had no idea what I had because they were all in boxes and there was just so many of them. I stopped wearing high heels a while ago and my shoe of choice these days is either plain white Keds or running shoes. It’s funny, I’ll spend $150 on a pair of running shoes without hesitation but find it difficult to purchase a pair of dress shoes for more than $40.

Anyway, when I got home, I went straight to the closet and pulled out all the shoe boxes and opened them up. I was disappointed to see how many pairs of shoes I had that I knew I would never wear again. Why was I holding on to all these shoes? I grabbed a large trash bag and without thinking too much was able to get rid of more than 10 pair of shoes. Admittedly, there were maybe two pair that I held on to “just in case”. Instead of buying new shoes on Amazon, I decided to purchase this organizer so I can see what I have and hopefully I won’t hold on to things that I don’t wear anymore.

Holding on to clutter is not only a way of holding on to the past and on to things that no longer serve you but I believe that holding on to clutter is also a way of blocking more positive things from coming into our lives.

It's relatively easy to remove the physical clutter from our lives. All I had to do was throw away the shoes and I immediately felt better. But what about the other kinds of clutter?

For example, mental clutter. Mental clutter is the garbage that we hold on to in our minds. The lies that we tell ourselves on a regular basis. The lie that we aren't pretty enough or good enough or strong enough. The lie that makes us believe that we can't leave a bad situation -- that we don't have options. That is mental clutter. The best way to get rid of that mental clutter is to first, stop telling ourselves those lies but we can't stop there. We must replace the lies with the truth. The truth being that we are enough. That no one can do what we do. That we were put here for a purpose. And to keep the clutter from returning we have to be intentional about reminding ourselves about the truth of who we are.

Another kind of clutter that we need to remove is spiritual clutter. What is spiritual clutter? This is the clutter that fills your spirit. Things like anger, jealousy, resentment -- all the baggage that we tend to carry around. This spiritual clutter clouds our judgement and affects how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. Removing this type of clutter may be more challenging but it can be done. I recommend praying and meditating until you can accept the truth that the past is the past and you are a new person. You can't control what happened yesterday. Yesterday is gone so be intentional and just let it go.

I used to be a very angry person. I wore my anger like a big comfy blanket because I thought it gave me a sense of security. It took a lot of work, but I realized that as long as I held on to that anger, I was blocking any type of true happiness from entering my life. Once I got that -- I was able to let it go.

So, I encourage you to do a little spring cleaning in October. Get rid of the clutter: the physical clutter, the mental clutter, and the spiritual clutter. Then watch and see how much your life will improve.

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