I have a junk basket – a catchall that has prominence on a kitchen counter until we have dinner guests – when I quickly remove it to our bedroom. It’s not large – maybe 12x8x6. Yes, it is an eyesore, yet oh so handy. For in it I stash pencils, paper, clippings, scotch tape, lotion, and scissors: you know, the stuff of life. But I also squirrel away empty prescription vials, broken rubber bands, small empty plastic bags, chip clips, metal shelf supports, and photos. No rhyme or reason, just an unwillingness to purge, and organize seemingly endless treasures and tidbits.
Whenever I begin to sort, one thought paralyzes progress: I might need this . . . As if an item properly stored in an accessible place will be inaccessible because . . . I might forget where that proper place might be.
This is not just an old-age phenomenon – no, that’s been my M.O. for a long time. Within my little stacks and stashes, I can tell you where to find a lost treasure, most of the time. Keys and electronic clickers for the TV and radio are never there! What has gotten better, though, is I have fewer stacks. But that basket remains.
So I am at it this again . . . until I throw up my hands after a minimal reorganization and purge, and decide to take a picture and shame myself into action.
My heart and brain can be like that basket – repositories of memories and dreams: words I am sorry I said, words I wished I had had the courage to speak; things I should never have done – things I could have done, but didn’t; and so many rescues from real danger. Floating in and out of this repository are moments of real pleasure, satisfaction – peace and joy.
But playing remember when or, what if solo is as big a waste of time as a pity party, and I can lose sight of work in my heart as I can on my kitchen counter!
It’s good to go through my mental stacks of stuff – discarding what I can, re-filing what I can’t let go of until a later time, and keeping a space open always for new treasures.
Deep Thoughts as I unpack the basket’s chaos, and reign in my rambling mind:
- Let go of failures and old injuries into the Hands of the only One who can keep track of what needs confession, repentance and reconciliation. He counts my tears in a vial, how much more carefully does He understand my trials and temptations.
- Hold tight to the one tool that is guaranteed to find and settle all restlessness: Forgive-others and myself so that when I can’t forget, I can breathe.
- Practice gratitude: one, that I have a basket, albeit cluttered; and two, that today is a day of new beginnings.
- Get off my derrière and do something about the clutter! Sort, save, and toss! It works for the catchall basket – and it’s a good use of time for my heart, too.
Next project . . . does my catchall basket adventure remind you of a drawer, literal or emotional, that needs tending? Being willing to be willing to let go of (______________), is a good first step.
Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter. ~Terri Guillemets
The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go. ~Steve Maraboli