For many years I have followed a newletter and website by Flylady.com. She is a mentor for cleaning up homes and lives. It was one of the best discoveries I have made since I began using a computer. You may be thinking that it would be a surface thing, this cleaning thing, but it goes so much deeper.
I was reminded of Flylady last night when my husband and I were decorating our Christmas tree. Every year she asks the members of her group to go through their things and get rid of anything that brings a painful memory as well as those things that are broken or useless. If it is something that is not loved, get rid of it without feeling guilty, even if it was a gift.
As we were putting different Christmas balls on the tree, I came upon a tiny glass snowman that was shattered in the middle. I would have glued it together, but I thought about it and realized that it was one of those purchases that was for a school fund raiser. It had no sentiment attached to it. I threw it away!
That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is. In our family, we were raised to take care of our things. We appreciated every belonging. We had plenty, but not excess. It is a fine line to walk and not get into hoarding. That is where Flylady helped me.
People in her group write testimonals about how they dug out of their hoard. One woman stands out. She wrote about getting rid of a metal skillet that was bent. She had kept it for years hidden under her bed or somewhere out of sight. The reason she kept it was that her husband had beaten her with it. Holding on to it let her remember that she had good reason to divorce the man.
Flylady had urged the members to get rid of the things that brought out negative emotions or that they didn’t love. The woman realized that she was free from her abuser and she needed to let go of the reminder.
Others in the group told of ugly gifts that were given in Christmas exchanges by people they didn’t even know. There were also people who had dear loved ones give them things they really didn’t like, but they displayed so the person’s feelings wouldn’t be hurt.
I look at my belongings differently now. I don’t hold them too close to my heart. I do appreciate the things I love, but I don’t feel guilty about giving good things that I don’t love to charity.
Throwing away a little Christmas doodad may not sound like a big deal to a lot of people, but it is a reflection of the work I have done in my home and my emotions. “Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Useless items thrown out and unloved things given to a good cause are like the thoughts rolling around in our brains. Hurts and hates load us down with too much baggage. It takes work to sort through it all, but in the end, an uncluttered life is worth it. Thank you, Flylady.