We all have a closet or drawer in our house where we store our junk. For some of us this is a small drawer to throw extra pens or loose change. Others, like myself, have a whole junk closet filled with old books, games that are no longer played, clothes that don’t fit, parts to household electronics that we can’t find, and the list goes on.

This year, as I started my Spring Cleaning, I began with my junk closet and found many of the above-mentioned items. Some of the items were painful to see, reminding me of how things used to be. Other items, brought both joy and sadness, like the pair of vintage blue dress shoes that belonged to the grandmother I lost several years ago.

All this cleaning got me thinking about how our hearts and minds get cluttered. Much like the closet full of junk in the hall, we all have memories and feelings we have stuffed away in the recesses of our minds. Thoughts we hope will just go away. Feelings that resurface over and over, that we try to avoid. Thinking that if we pull them out it will cause too much pain. We hope instead we can just close the door and forget. The trouble with this is that just like the junk piles up in the closet our feelings have a way of sticking around and getting in the way until we deal with them. Hurts turn into anger, anger turns to bitterness, bitterness leads to hurtful actions which bring guilt and then shame. So what is the trouble with this? With all the emotional junk piled up we don’t have room for the good. It is important that we all learn to do a little emotional spring cleaning.

So my question to you is, “what feelings have you been stuffing away?” If you want to experience some new growth in your life, it is worth looking at what is blocking you. A good way to start is to just sit down and journal or check in with yourself for five minutes a day. Simply, clear out your mind and heart, by jotting down what you are feeling or thinking. Then spend some time giving those feelings to God in prayer. While it may not feel good in the moment, you may feel silly or cry a little, it will help you to not build a junk closet in your heart. If you find there are feelings you aren’t sure what to do with, it may be helpful to meet with a counselor or coach.

For now, I am off to write down my own thoughts and feelings about the grandmother I loved and lost. Let the Spring Cleaning begin!

Melissa Lawver