Every once in a while I have this overwhelming urge to get rid of everything I own. I’m learning this is a cyclical pattern of mine and usually happens around the same time each year. While I try to maintain my number of possessions throughout the year, this almost uncontrollable urge is when I do most of the “trashing”. Yet, even after one of my mass “purging” sessions I will look around and think to myself “How in the world have I accumulated this much stuff?”
Progress can be difficult to see unless you’re looking for it.
But then I remember. Instead of harping on myself about the number of items I have accumulated, I look back at where I came from. I remember the first time I moved out on my own and packed up my little Honda Accord until I could barely see out of my windows. I made multiple trips then, taking furniture, appliances, and many other things with me. Then I moved again and somehow got more stuff (clearly I wasn’t an expert at moving at that point in time). But then I moved out of state and could only make one trip, causing me to be even more selective with what I owned and a year later I brought out another carload (still not understanding the whole “moving” concept). Then the Lord downsized me again to where I am now.
Do you ever look around your life and wonder how you got to where you are? Do you beat yourself up about current situation because you’re not where you feel you “should be”? I do this to myself consistently, I see this ideal version of me created by my own arbitrary and unrealistic standards and I compare myself to this ideal future me that won’t ever exist. Instead, I should compare myself with where I’ve been. I’ve grown much over the years and that’s something worthy of being celebrated. Sure, I still fail all the time, but I’m also not who I was before.
During these times of purging my physical belongings, I force myself to also take a look at my heart. Are there any things occupying my heart or mind that don’t belong there? Is there any access clutter that I’m clinging onto that no longer serves me? Am I a hoarder of bad things, limiting my capacity to receive life-giving things?
I encourage you to take a look at your heart and get rid of the things that no longer belong there. If bitterness served you well in a season and is no longer serving you, get rid of it. If anger filled your house for years, it’s time for a renovation. If greed was your color of choice, let’s get some paint and change that for you. Let’s be sure to celebrate the success in our lives and let that propel us further into our futures.