During the spring time of each year many of us think about and prepare to do spring cleaning.
We assess our home, closets, garage, attic, office, or even our life and determine what stays and what must go. All of us have closets or a room that has accumulated things that are old, clothes that do not fit, worn out shoes, things you don’t need any more. We often say “I need to get rid of that” or “One day I am going to clean out that closet or room”. While our intentions may be well, time comes and goes and the closet never gets cleaned out. In the back of our mind we remind ourselves that I really must get rid of that old stuff.
Just as closets or storage rooms are filled with old things that we don’t need, our lives are also filled with things of the past that we don’t need or have out grown. These things can get in the way of our personal growth, emotional growth, and even hamper our spiritual growth.
Closets I’ll be honest. I had four closets that had accumulated old stuff over the past years since high school. I had old favorite sweat shirts, t-shirts that had grown too small, old 33 albums, some of you don’t know what that is-it is a large 12 inch plastic CD that played music on a machine called a record player. I had old 8-track tapes that I still held on to. I know I’m not the only one. If the truth be told, you probably could mention your own old accumulated stuff too.
Similar to life, we hold on to old experiences that are over and we never get past it. That is a type of closet. We still remember the hurt or pain like it was yesterday. We hold on to former relationships that are now over; yet, we relive the bad times as if were still going on. Just like the stuff in the closets, we never really let it go. In some cases you may be holding on to things that don’t fit like a current relationship that you have outgrown. You have moved to a different place in life but the person you are with is still the same, talking the same, acting the same, and not going anyplace in life. In your heart of hearts you know you have outgrown the relationship, but you are afraid to let it go. The relationship drains you emotionally, financially, or even may be physically abusive…yet you hang on.
Just as closets needed to be cleaned out. We to need to do spring cleaning in the closets of our life. Our closets of life are hurtful memories, poor health habits, people, places, past mistakes, unhealthy relationships, and other bad habits.
How to Clean out the Closet
A closet is dark until someone reaches up, pulls the switch, and turns on the light. To clean out the closets of life, we need to let the Lord shine light into every area. Light brings revelation and visibility to the closet. When the light is on, you can see exactly what is in the closet and then deal with it.
1. Admit that you need to do spring cleaning. Turn on the light in your closets of life. In other words- you need to change. The light will reveal the things that need to be cleaned out and makes things clear.
2. Realize that if you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you have.
3. Admit that you cannot do this alone. You have had these issues all of this time and have not been able to get rid of them.
4. Ask for help in turning on the light in your closets. Jesus is the one who can bring light into your dark areas (closets). He can make the dark places light. He can help you clean out the old and put on the new. The Bible says that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, all things have become brand new.
5. Maintain a positive outlook about spring cleaning your closets of life. You can develop a positive outlook by disciplining your mind through positive repetition. Read positive material every day, such as the Bible, encouraging stories, uplifting poems. Listen to uplifting music or audio books. Spend time with people who are positive. Use positive language when talking about yourself and others.
6. Pursue your passion. By passion, I mean an activity that when you do it or even speak about it, you get excited. You come alive. Your enthusiasm bubbles over. When you pursue your passion, it will give you momentum in your life and allow you to pursue your purpose.
If you know you need to do spring cleaning and get rid of that old stuff like past hurts, old memories of being abused, or want to move out of a bad relationship, do something about it. Turn on the light, make a list and do your spring cleaning today.
by Viv L. Ewing, Ph.D.