An Emotional Closet Makeover

An Emotional Closet Makeover

An Emotional Closet Makeover

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?

  • Doug

    Beautiful! My favorite word…JOY!

    • Janet

      I love cleaning out my closet with you, my man – a great JOY giver!

  • Amy

    I like the idea of shopping metaphorically (and well…you know, actually shopping) to stay looking (…and feeling as well as giving) “Fresh”, lol! See what we did there? 😉

    Noticing a pattern of metaphors in your writing and the sense of poetry as it applies to personal growth is refreshing. Thank you!

    • Janet

      Growth is refreshing! Unless it’s a tumor. . .then it’s time for a makeover! Thank you Amy.

  • sherry torbert

    Very well written. I love it! I’m sure I have some cleaning to do in both places. You are loved.

  • Julie Alvarez

    Love this, Janet! It’s such a good analogy for growth. When bitterness or some other icky feeling creeps in, it’s so great to have a loved one who cares enough to tell you how that isn’t so flattering….and you let….it…..go……! I’ve been cleaning out my 12 year-old’s room and closet while she is at camp and I am amazed by the mix of emotions that process brings forth — sweet memories of her childhood, trying to decipher what to keep, what to hold on to, and feelings of joy for the new look, for who she is becoming…..growth is a good struggle!

    • Janet

      Ok – I’ll admit my first thought was, “It’s not possible for Olivia to be 12!” You are a good momma; so important to have good help learning what to hang on to – and what is not really us! Good hearing from you Julie – thank you.

  • Rachel

    A fun story about God’s provision:
    For my 19th birthday I asked God for Joy, because I wasn’t sure I had ever really felt it before. That year I had many moments of sweet contentment or as you describe it “it’s good to be me here with you” completely out of the blue. It wasn’t a crazy excited feeling like I expected, but more of a sweet sigh amidst whatever my surroundings or circumstances. As always, God’s idea of Joy was much better than mine!

    • Janet

      These words are TRUE – “contentment” and a “sweet sigh” – breathe deeply of God’s Joy!