Taking Out the Garbage

There is a waste management facility a few miles from our home. We used to call it the dump! The names of the streets by the dump are Ridder Road and Clutter Street. Every time I pass that way I am reminded, “If I don’t get "ridder" my stuff I will live on Clutter Street!”

We all have garbage accumulate in our lives. It needs to be removed from our homes frequently or it starts to stink. But there’s another kind of garbage that we collect living in this world and that is the emotional garbage that we accumulate in our lives.

What do you do with all of the garbage that you have collected in your life? There is childhood garbage. There can be the garbage of abuse and neglect. There is the garbage of incest, rape, prejudice, disappointment, bitterness, anger, and on and on. How do you take out this kind of garbage so that you are not cluttered up with old smelly things and being suffocated by waste and refuse?

Some of our stuff requires the help of professional cleaners. Incest, rape, abuse, addiction, and deep wounds are best addressed and supported by people trained to help others along the path. Seeking out a trained professional can be a great assistance in helping to get rid of some of the garbage of your past. It is a process that needs support, understanding, and wise guidance.

Cleansing rituals are another way to help get rid of negative emotions and experiences. I love taking a bath. Lighting a candle, filling the water with bubbles and listening to music is a restful way for me to visualize washing off negative stuff. Other people I have talked to like to sit in the hot tub and turn on the bubbles. Sometimes a hot shower helps when you imagine all of the negative emotion you are holding on to just run right down the drain.

Meditation is another powerful way to let go of emotional garbage and wounds. One of the most effective meditations for me is to imagine going to Gethsemane and meeting Christ there. It is here that He took on the sins of the world. In my mind, I take off everything that is bothering me like an old garment--low self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, any negative encounter with anyone, and any pain from the past that is bothering me—and I leave it there. Christ has already taken all of this on for me. I don’t need to carry it around with me all of the time.

In my mind, I move on to the cross where Jesus completes the act of taking on my sins and it is there that He pays the ultimate price for my redemption. I can visualize all of my “stuff” dying there with Him.

The next stop is the resurrection where I receive a new garment. This is a covering of His righteousness, a new heart, and a new way of looking at things. This is a very powerful meditation and it helps to restore my sense of wholeness and worthiness.

Another way to let go of worries, burdens, or old wounds and emotions is to have a “God box”. This is a box where you can write down prayers, feelings, and things that you want to let go of and give them symbolically to God. When you are tempted to pick them back up again you can remind yourself that, “God has them.”

It’s not so important how you let go of emotional stuff that has been around too long and is starting to stink up your life; the important thing is that you get rid of it. As you let go, say a thank you for what you have learned from the experience. Ask God to make it a blessing in your life. Let go of blame attached to it towards anyone and walk forth into a new sense of lightness.