Spring is in the air and many of us take time out to spring clean our homes, garages, etc to get rid of all the clutter and dirt we have accumulated over the past seasons. But as you go about doing this, have you considered giving your mind a spring clean too, to get rid of any emotional clutter and junk you may have accumulated?
You would be amazed the kind of 'baggage' we pick up over the seasons of our lives. These include esteem and confidence issues, lost identities, unresolved issues (past or present), poor personal boundaries & standards, negative emotions (e.g. fear, shame, blame, hatred, anger, grief, resentment, etc), unmet needs, inner conflicts and much more. And when you factor in the fact that many of us become emotionally battered and bruised through our challenging and/or painful life experiences, it is easy to see how we can end up amassing excessive weight of the emotional kind – consciously or not.
Therefore, over time, your mind can resemble a cluttered wardrobe, filled to the brim with items that don't serve you and stuff you did not even know was there! In short, you accumulate emotional baggage that ends up hindering your progress. With this in tow, it is any surprise the abundant life does not seem to be a reality in our lives. We wonder why we keep getting trapped with certain mindsets or patterns of behaviors that don't line up with Gods standards for us. We are baffled when we keep going around the same mountain – time and time again – wondering why we don't seem to break free. We scratch our heads and can't fathom why after so many religious practices on our part, we always find ourselves back at square one.
Could it just be you need to give your mind (and emotions) a spring clean? Putting it in biblical terms, do you need to renew your mind? If so, you are now presented with two options:
Option 1: You can bury your head in the sand, put on your "hallelujah, I'm so blessed" mask and pretend you are the epitome of wellness. You can keep mindlessly confessing "all is well" and be on your merry way – though I am not sure how far you will get though. By the way, this is the 'easy' option that costs you nothing more than the effort it takes you to 'keep up appearances' (which can be tasking too, if the truth be told).
Option 2: Be proactive and take positive action to tackle your emotional baggage. Of course, this will cost you but the benefits are immense. Moreover, you get to loose weight of the emotional kind and experience emotional freedom to live the life you were created to live.
Option two is my preferred choice because after working with people (in particular women) coupled with my very own personal experiences, I have seen the dreadful impact these issues can have on believers and non-believers alike. This silent plague has infiltrated every nook and cranny of our modern society and the church is not excluded. Many of us are sitting in pews or preaching from pulpits as mere shadows of the glorious individual God had in mind when He created us. Why? Because the excess baggage we have been carrying has bent us out of shape.
But aren't we supposed to be created in His image? I don't know about you but my God is not a baggage-ridden God. And from what I have read in the bible, all He created was 'good'. Personally, I am sick and tired of us carrying this extra weight around. Moreover, I am disheartened at the fact that the potential of many may never be realised whilst in this state.
So before you make your weekly pilgrimage to church adorning the "EB" (emotional baggage) designer label, which, unlike high society fashion labels, is not exclusive to those who can afford it, take a moment to reflect on the state of your own mind. If it is not up to Gods standard, I implore you to do something about it.
If you would like powerful yet simple ideas to help you spring clean your mind, watch out for part two of this article. In the meantime, I leave you with this thought: The reality is that we all fit somewhere on the continuum of emotional wellness/recovery. And so, to ensure you are closer to the wellness end of the scale, you will need to keep monitoring and regulating yourself through the likes of prayer, quiet times, studying of Gods Word, godly counsel, nurturing your mind (e.g. through books, teaching, etc), belonging to a community of trustworthy and honest people. Whatever you do, don't leave your mind out of the loop – because it needs TLC too – just like other facets of your being.
Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23