Cleaning out our closet. . .some of us love it, and others would rather give birth to an elephant! I read an article today that said, “You only wear 20 percent of your wardrobe.” (nymag.com) If that’s true, it means we wear the same things over and over – no matter what may be other good choices.
We hold onto the things in our closet for different reasons:
“I’ve had it forever – it’s my favorite.”
“I feel powerful when I wear it; it works for me!”
“I love comfy clothes!”
I’m not a fashionista; my closet offers few and very familiar choices – especially now that my closet is in an Airstream! Having admitted that, I know I still need to get rid of some things that have been hanging in there too long.
I think our emotional closets can be like this, too. Some of my emotions, I’ve had since I was a baby. My baby clothes don’t fit anymore; mature emotions may be better choices, too.
My thoughts started going in this direction the other day when I was writing a testimonial. Doug and I had great pre-marital counseling; the middle paragraph of my testimonial said this:
“I needed a Mother’s blessing, too. Thank you Sherry. So many old emotions and dysfunctional needs were given permission to die with your prayerful words planted deep and sweet in my heart. So many new emotions and real needs are growing in their place; life is beautiful with real joy!”
It is true. The words of blessing – and words in prayer – have cleaned some old emotions out of the closet of my heart. The old emotions were connected to dysfunctional needs; I’m noticing those warning lights on the dashboard of my soul are beginning to burn out, too.
And it is also true, many new emotions and real needs are growing in place of the old and dysfunctional ones. My favorite is JOY. I describe JOY as trusting, “It’s good to be me here with you.” JOY is good friends with lots of other emotions; it’s even best friends with sorrow.
How about you? What’s hanging in the emotional closet of your soul? I’m not at all suggesting that feelings aren’t real; but we can let freedom really ring when we trust real feelings are sometimes rooted in real lies. And we can let those go.
I don’t think we can clean out our emotional closets without relationships of trust, in environments of grace. I give a few people in my life permission to tell me, “That isn’t really your color.” Or “That just doesn’t look good from the back.” And then I can choose to fold up the old emotion and handed it over to God in prayer. Or not.
I look forward to your comments: Where did you find your JOY? What old emotion might a good friend help you hand to God in prayer?