*Note to readers: I was chomping at the bit to hit publish on this post. I miss sharing these weekly, but I’m glad we find ourselves sitting at the table together today. If this post encourages you in any way, please leave a comment below or share it with a friend. I’m crazy about you, promise. Alyssa
Changing seasons are pregnant with opportunities. One such opportunity is the great closet swap. During the other season we experience in South Texas, my fall/winter clothes are relegated to plastic tubs. Once we have more than a few days of cooler temperatures, I reluctantly pull down the tubs and unearth the few warm items in my possession.
A few things precede the exchanging of the fabrics. I spend a couple of weeks with large storage bins as bonus bedroom accessories. They serve as the nagging visual reminder of the necessary task awaiting my attention. I also make big plans to accomplish the big switcheroo many times before it happens. Once my resolve warms up to my intentions, the closet negotiations begin.
Recently, while making the great swap, I was overcome by the symbolism present in the small task of exchanging shorts for sweats. There are always unworn items I can’t seem to give away. Season after season, I pull the rogue items out, give them space in my closet, and then pack them back up when the season ends. The “what if” prospect haunts me with these once loved items. What if I need that for a costume [this makes perfect sense because I dress up-NEVER]? What if that comes back in style? What if I regret giving that away? Fear and loss of control pepper my thoughts as I evaluate items for the great give-away.
The dance between holding on and giving up is lingering in my mind today. It occurs to me if I am doing this with clothing, I’m probably doing it with deeper issues. If it’s hard work to purge my closet of unnecessary items, how much more difficult is it for me to remove the unhealthy identities entangled in my soul? Why is it so hard to take an honest inventory of the things hidden within us?
I can decide a shirt has lost its style, but I can’t discern the ill-fitting personal descriptor of “lacking” has long gone out of style. While both tasks are difficult, most of us probably defer to cleaning out physical items because, though hard, they are ultimately easier than dealing with deeper issues of the soul.
As I worked in the closet, a podcast offered emotional support. One line of the interview made me stop mid-fold. The interviewee said something like, “Anyone who has experienced discrimination has to cautiously avoid becoming the discrimination.” Something about the rhythm of the syllables rattled something deep within me; reminding me I had more to purge than clothing.
When I’m picked over because of my gender, I hold onto resentment. If I experience rejection, walking in disappointment is my knee-jerk reaction. In other words, resentment and disappointment become my go-to garments. It’s easy to take on the hard and hurtful experiences as authentic identity, but it turns out it’s just the ugly tank top we can’t seem to throw away. We just keep giving it space day after day, year after year.
As you move through today and this week, consider taking a few minutes to reflect on what’s taking up unnecessary space in your soul. The discrimination, hurtful words, scars from an abusive relationship, and past mistakes don’t have to hang around any longer. Maybe it’s time to stop packing up the pain and hauling that heavy load through the years. The changing season is, after all, robust with opportunity to purge what no longer fits.
#MomentofTruthMonday #LetitGo #Purging #SoulCleansing #LifeLesson