We don’t spend our time thinking about garbage, or waste containers for that matter, yet many women stay stuck in life, in limbo, because they are filled with emotional garbage – containers filled with self-criticism, self-beating, regrets and guilt.
things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown out
: a container where people put things that are being thrown out
: something that is worthless, unimportant, or of poor quality
a container for temporarily storing waste
I was very hard on myself. I focused on all my weaknesses and what I perceived as personal flaws. It opened me up to becoming critical of other people in my life and consequently left me with strained relationships. I coped by disassociation, withdrawing into my own world. The problem with an isolated life is that it inevitably leads to feelings of regret and guilt. I questioned my own sanity; fighting a feeling of worthlessness while playing scenes over and over in my mind. I felt overburdened, overly responsible. On the inside I was vulnerable, but on the outside I was performing. I was becoming an emotional hoarder.
a person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people
: these items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using their rooms as they were intended
: these items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities
It was only when my life became unbearable that I started reflecting on the truth of my situation. I was keeping family secrets. I jailed myself the day I decided to look the other way. It is a curse to carry the burden of other people’s wrong behaviour – to become a wrought iron garbage bin for other people’s junk. It is hard to keep your life a secret, to rationalise your past; to find excuses for your own behaviour. I was spiralling down an abyss of negativity, never complaining about my situation, and secretly blaming everyone and everything around me
The LORD gave us mind and conscience, we cannot hide from ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
a: kept hidden from knowledge or view; concealed: a secret identity; a secret passageway
b: not expressed; inward: secret desires
c: given to keeping one’s thoughts and activities unknown to others; secretive: “Scrooge…was secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster” (Charles Dickens)
d: not revealing a secret or not given to revealing secrets: “She boasted…that he did tell her. But he didn’t. He was secret as the grave” (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala)
e: operating in a hidden or confidential manner: a secret commission; a secret agent
f: containing information, the unauthorized disclosure of which poses a grave threat to national security
g: not much visited; secluded: a secret hiding place
h: known or shared only by the initiated: secret rites
i: beyond ordinary understanding; mysterious: “like Pan, calling out with his flute to come join in on the secret chaos of the world.” (Rick Bass)
j: something that is kept out of the knowledge or sight of others or is known only to oneself or a few: wanted to have no secrets between them
k: something that remains beyond understanding or explanation; a mystery: unlocking the secrets of the atom
l: a method or formula for doing or making something well, especially when not widely known: the secret of this dish is in the sauce
m: in secret: without others knowing
We stay stuck in limbo because it is hard to admit who we are. We don’t want to find our authentic self and what our purpose in life is, because we are afraid that we might fail. I had to learn that it is acceptable to reflect on past experiences with the intention to move forward; to learn from previous mistakes instead of beating myself up and wishing that things were different.
No one else could do the work for me. Real growth happens from the inside out. I had to empty my emotional garbage bin. I had to let go of all my ingrained social fears and skew perception of what is ‘normal’. I had to motivate myself to make different choices.
What is holding you back?
Emotional: Resentment – burying your hurts. If resentments are suppressed, left to decay, they cause anger, frustration and depression. You can trap yourself in self-pity and dishonest thinking.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it.
Two are better off than one, because they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone…, there is no one to help him…Two men can resist an attack that would defeat one man alone.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
…though good advice lies deep within a counsellor’s heart, the wise man will draw it out.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Do not lie to each other. You have left your old sinful life and the things you did before.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Mind: Are you guarding your mind? Are you in denial? What are the coping skills that you acquired to deal with your reality? Is your mind in constant battle with constructive/destructive thoughts? Are you swinging between positive/negative thoughts?
having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments: It’s hard to argue with , much less convince, a closed-minded person
Straight living cannot be borne out of crooked thinking.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. (Albert Einstein)
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.
(Michel de Montaigne)
Body: Are you mistreating your body? Are you abusing alcohol, drugs, food or sex? How are you utilising your freedom to choose? Are you enslaved to your own desires? Do your choices harm your body?
Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God, because He owns it. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well…Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to me. (Psalm 139:13-14,16)
Abuse: Were you physically or emotionally mistreated? Were you sexually abused? Do you hold resentments against family members? Emotional abuse doesn’t have to be raging, yelling or screaming. Tearing down a child’s or spouse’s self-esteem and being emotionally unavailable is harmful.
What is the family secret that you have been denying?
Stop the guilt. Stop blaming yourself. The rear view mirror way of living keeps us looking back.
You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there.
Discontentment: Does it feel normal to you to always be discontent and wanting for more?
Focus and appreciate what you have instead of what you want. Be present in your life. Don’t look back in anger, or fear the future. Appreciate today with a grateful heart.
Life is a journey, not a destination. (Unknown)
Procrastination: Is it your response to authority? Do you need the euphoric rush of the last minute? Are you avoiding failure? Are you avoiding the fear of success? Are you concerned about what others will think of you? Are you avoiding making a decision because you do not want to take responsibility for the outcome of your decision?
The process of overcoming procrastination can begin once you admit that you are actually avoiding pain, or the moment you are willing to give up your comfort zone.
Don’t squander the most precious asset that God gave you…time…
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
I learned that authenticity is liberating. It is not worth it to stay stuck with yesterday’s bad news. I have value in God’s eyes. He created me and He will show me the way. I can write my own definitions of life. I can formulate my own words. I can respond to my own life, I don’t have to be stuck.
It is not my responsibility to manage dysfunctional family members. God doesn’t require me to keep secrets.
Life constantly changes and so can I.