So lets play a little game of have you ever...
one round. one question.
Have you ever gotten a phone call from a friend who says “Hey! Can I stop by i'm in the neighborhood?”, to which you quickly glance over your room and panic because its full of a week long back up of junk.
Depending on the size and the magnitude of clutter you start to shove things in your junk drawer, throw things in a closet and stack things in a room. These rooms already packed from a similar scenario weeks ago to open any of the three, your heart begins to beat a little faster and you cringe at the thought of trying to make it all fit. To think if your surprise guest reached for that drawer, opened that closet or walked in the room...the banshee NO!!!! they would encounter could be deafening if not fatal! Not until days, months and years later do you realize that you officially have a problem. Yep! you finally hit the first step...you're admitting that you have junk.
We all have junk, the difference is how much? Drawers size, closet size or your 4 bedroom house turned into a 3 bedroom because that extra room became your “i'll do it later” resolution.
We've heard the phrases “why do it now when you can put it off till later” or “if I can't see it doesn’t' exist” or “it's no big deal I mean that mess doesn't define me” or the classic “ignorance is bliss”. Well sure those can aid as a coping mechanism for awhile but one day you'll break, you'll feel the effects of believing those mechanisms were your friend.
I find that some how when we do that awful yet common thing called comparing we assume that having just a little bit of junk in our lives we will fall short of some false expectation that we are less than. If we admit to having “junk” in our lives then somehow we are weak and unusable and have zeroed out anything that would deem us as super human.
Here's the test, if you truly are beyond the human nature of carrying junk whether large or small; take your hand, swing it back, like slightly behind your head at a 45 degree angle from your profile and with all of your might slap your face so hard it leaves a mark...ok did it hurt? Even a little? If yes...well I hate to break it to you, you're human. Yep your blood bleeds red, you don't sparkle in the sunlight. (that one was for all you twilight fans out there.)
So you're human and you probably have junk, but you lock it up in drawers, closets and rooms of your heart. You've convinced yourself its better to not expose the mess or you've deceived yourself that you are okay with it. But like unnecessary rocks in a backpack while climbing up a mountain, it slows you down and can injury you in your journey. EVERYONE has junk...EVERYONE. Own it and move forward.
In my book there are four types in "Junk Anonymous" (There could be more but this is my book :)
The “Denial”er : you have disbelief in the existence of the reality of a thing.
This is the person that doesn't believe the junk exist because ultimately they do not want to deal with the consequences that come with neglect. You literally will walk by the closet and intentionally forget that in the darkest of its corners are past mistakes, fears, dreams, ect. That invitation you never responded to...was actually sent, that jacket you borrowed...you did forget to give back, that heartbreak you experienced...did leave a wound. Just because you deny its there doesn't take from the fact it was real, the pain did happen. Lots of time a person lives in denial because of SHAME, REGRET and FEAR. Yes owning your junk can be scary but when you shine light in those dark areas it can never hold the power it once had. It exist, you survived and now we deal.
The “Ignorant” : one who lacks knowledge, information, or education.
Here's a person that might have thrown random things into a room because they had no idea what it was for; they don't and won't ask because they don't care. A lot of times they know if they inquire, (which takes work) they'll have to deal with the problem. They think I'd rather not know because in this moment, it “feels” like ignorance is bliss. The bummer usually happens after time goes by; that bill with Sallie Mae’s name on it...yeah that just effected your credit; that part to your car that you left in the drawer...it kept the oil from leaking; all those red flags and signs that your partner was cheating, they were. The “ignorance being bliss” isn't so blissful when the consequences show their ugly head. Ignorance led to bad credit, a broken car and many years in a dead end relationship.
Don't allow the junk to add up and overwhelm you when all you had to do was ask what the problem was; don't miss out on a gift that was hidden in that drawer because you never knew what its purpose was. IE If you always threw those red pepper flake packages into the drawer that the pizza delivery guy gave you with your pizza; you'd never experience that spicy burning yumminess that happens when you add those bad boys to your cheesy slice of heaven. Foodie moment fail. There's a great passage that says, “for lack of knowledge people parish.” Don't die from being ignorant...Live a long and free life knowing that you asked, you saw, you conquered.
The “Busy Bee” : not at leisure; otherwise engaged.
This person is the I'll deal with it tomorrow guy. Its not that they don't know or that they don't want to know, they just are to busy to care to know. You know?! When something is important you usually find time to deal with it. Most of the time the Busy Bee feels like other things trump that small thing you tossed in a room, invaliding its importance. Becoming too busy to deal with the small things will add up and leak out on other areas of your life. The Snow Ball effect is real and happens when a small thing starts rolling into a larger one, a force that can overtake a person or situation. You might not weigh the importance of those counseling sessions now but the effects of constantly skipping can led to depression and for some a divorce. Being too busy to deal with your junk in the now can paralyze you from doing anything in the future.
The “Indifference”er : lack of interest or concern.
Mr. or Ms. “I just don't care”, “it's just the way I am”. Although the tendency in someone indifference to their junk comes across as easy going it can often be a cover up for laziness, fear and pride. Selfishness lies in indifference, you think just because it doesn't effect me, it doesn't matter. In reality, it will hurt you and it hurts those around you. An indifferent person doesn't see beyond themselves, they have no concerns with how their neglect effects those around them. They know junk exists, they have tons of time to deal, they even know why they have it but they just are too lazy to do anything about it. Life passes them by and sadly that indifference turns into a callous heart, beckoning darkness and spirals you into depression. Indifference is an isolator, it pulls you away from intimacy and things you need to fully develop in character. When you don't have boundaries chaos will accrue.
Recognizing you're The “Denial”er, The “Ignorant”, The “Busy Bee” or The “Indifference”er will not fix the junk, it just exposes the fact you have it. Knowing you have junk is the starting point toward the direction you were destined to go, to be free, to live whole.
Now for the hard part, squirming through the junk, identifying the specifics of what it looks and why it exists. The junk you've been hiding, fighting to survive with, coping to get to the next stage. It's the rough stuff, raw stuff, real stuff, your stuff. So here we go....
My JUNK might look like:
- debt (why did you get that credit card.)
- failed relationship (if you had only tried harder.)
- letting go of your vision or dreams (i once was going to be an actress but now i'm too old.)
- the unknown (can't go out in the deep, i've been tortured by "Jaws".)
- rejection (what if the cool kids don't like me?)
- death (i'll remain alone so I'll never have to lose someone.)
- never measuring up (i am ugly, I am slow, I am overweight, I am boring.)
- never having a family (i'm too old to love, my eggs are dried up.)
- past (its dark, its ugly, its dysfunctional)
- addictions (dark nights bring on my lack of self-control with porno, alcohol, bulimia, shopping.)
- family's dysfunction (my family uses sarcastic personal jabs as a joke, we drink...A LOT.)
- abuse (i've only known manipulation, my uncle abused me.)
- being left ( I can't let you get passed my walls because what if you leave me.)
- fear of love (love doesn't stay love leaves. I can't be heartbroken again.)
- not worthy of love (i'm unlovable thats why they leave.)
- to yourself (i've done horrible things.)
- to others (they did horrible things to me.)
- with God (He let those bad things happen to my family and me.)
- parents (you were never there.)
- siblings (demeaned me in public.)
- boss (he thinks he's better than me.)
- life (things haven't turn out they way I think it should.)
- in-laws (they always side with their son.)
- spouse (he never is present in conversations, she nags all the time.)
- that you've let go (I never should've taken offense.)
- that you've neglected (why didn't I just take the time to call.)
- that you never had (I should have been a good friend so I could have one.)
When you can determine the areas that have become your triggers, that bring you to the junk anonymous club; it will empower you to put the junk where it belongs, not in your drawers, not in your closet not downsizing your house to compensate for that junk.
At this point either your ADD has kicked in or you have been sucked into the vortex of change. You are wanting it, needing it and making ways to get it. Now keep it simple.
How are you going to clean up the junk in your drawer, closet and room?
Admit you have it and will have to deal with it. Counseling, prayer and talking about it are a key to accountability to cast it off and keep it clean.
Seek wisdom and understanding in the areas that don't make sense. Questions like How can I let go? Why did this happen? Turns into balance and trusting in uncertainties.
Say no to denial, ignorance, busyness and indifference shift it to ownership, awareness, slowing down and caring.
Dig deep and own what you have been holding on to and why you can't just throw away junk. Like laundry, junk builds up. Constantly checking yourself will keep it at bay and not give it the chance to overwhelm you.
Forgive yourself. Watch your thought life. Don't obsess over your past, refocus on the bright future ahead.
Resist the urge to go back. fight. Fight. FIGHT.
Live in thankfulness that you are moving forward. Giving thanks in all things shifts your focus off the problems and lifts your spirit while you are becoming the best you.
So you've got junk, I've got junk, we've all got junky junk. No big deal....i mean besides the fact we have to deal.
We've got this.
So much love,