Saturday, August 13, 2011

What has Stacked Up in Your Emotional Closet?

I have had two college age sons quite literally camping out at the house this summer. They never full unpacked. We have plastic storage tubs, golf clubs, and assorted dorm supplies stacked in various locations around the house. As we anticipate their departure to Los Angeles and Oklahoma City next week, it is cleaning time. Thankfully we have not had much company this summer. I would be embarrassed for guests to see our house right now. But should I be embarrassed? It is good question.

Our real friends really don’t care if there golf clubs are sitting in the living room. And those most loyal to us are not concerned with the fact that our sons’ bedrooms should be a point of concern for the health department. Our closets are packed to their maximum suggested capacity. But true friends overlook such externals.

The same principle holds true in terms of the emotional state of our homes. Every person’s heart has stuff that has accumulated over the years. During times of transition or stress the junk stacks up even faster. We look up one day and realize that the closets in our hearts are jam packed with past hurts, traumatic experiences, and assorted life disappointments. When we host our friends, we make sure that such emotional closets remain locked up and sealed tight. After all if they knew what was stored in our heart it would be embarrassing to us.

Emotional closets need to be purged of accumulated junk. But there is a hitch. There are two things that need to happen if our heart closets are to be clean again.

• We need to forgive those that have harmed us. This is tough. Forgiveness is a journey that we don’t always want to embark on. But if the closet of our heart is to be clean again, forgiveness is a part of that process. It is a dimension of letting the past go.

• We need to open the closet to a trusted friend. I will say it again. True friends don’t care what is stacked in our living room. And they are not concerned about what is stacked to the ceiling in our closets. In fact, our real friends will gladly come over during a time of need and help us clean. They can guide us through the process of knowing what to keep and what to throw away. This is true in regard to our home and our hearts too…

What is stacked to the ceiling in your emotional closet? Can you allow someone you trust in your life to help you clean it out? Cleaning with the help of others is a good thing. Embarrassment or shame is not concerns. View your heart as a place where no accumulations are allowed.

I will continue to clean house today. If anyone wants to assist, I suggest latex gloves, gas mask, protective armor, and a strong stomach. It all goes this week one way or another. No accumulations allowed!

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