As I age, I feel an urgency to rid myself of clutter or material belongings that I no longer use. This is a hard process for me, because so much of what I’ve saved over the years is sentimental. I can attach a memory to many of the items that I’ve packed in boxes. The problem is that when I save too much, I tend to lose the treasures amongst the clutter. Because of this, I need to periodically go through boxes and get rid of stuff.
I am in a season like that right now. The process definitely starts out slow and overwhelming as I tackle the first box. But after a while I gain momentum as I learn to let things go. There is freedom in filling up a dumpster or taking a truck load of items to the Salvation Army. It is in that purging that I find a few true treasures buried in with the junk. I am in a constant state of learning what is healthy for me to hold onto and what is best for me to let go of.
This is also the case in my spirit. The longer I live, the more baggage I have emotionally. I gather up the grief, hurt and sadness. I then place them in the boxes of my heart along with the beauty, happy memories and treasures. Box upon box until my heart is heavy and it makes me feel old.
When that happens I know I have to be intentional in opening up those boxes and ridding myself of what is hindering me. Guilt, grief, unforgiveness and bitterness all weigh me down. I have to remind myself to let go. Maybe I’ve added control to the box, the false idea that I can control a situation with a loved one. If I could just make them understand or make different choices. Again – Let go. A beautiful thing then happens, I can see the beauty, happy memories and treasures once I’ve released the negative.
…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Throw off everything that hinders. Does that mean that I throw off grief and never feel pain? No, on the contrary grief is a part of my life and I never completely throw it off, nor would I want to. To deny that my heart grieves, would just be a lie. Grief serves a purpose, but when grief begins to hinder me, by defining me and causing me to despair, then I need to throw that off. Unforgiveness and bitterness always hinder me, so the sooner I get rid of those, the sooner, I am free of entanglement.
If your heart is feeling weighed down, I encourage you and remind myself to open up the box and ask ourselves if we are holding onto something that is hindering us. If so, let it go. Breathe in the freedom of an unhindered life.