Taking Out the Trash

Growing up I can remember that truck coming down the street. Seems like mom and I always heard it at the same time on Wednesday morning. Trash Day. We forgot again the night before! We had just enough time to collect all bags and cans of garbage and put them on the curb for the truck to take. Many times, we managed to hear the bell with plenty of time to anticipate its arrival and the task was carried out quietly. Other times, it caught us by surprise and we would run wildly through the house trying to get it all together before the garbage truck came by. Occasionally, we could not finish collecting all the trash in time for the truck to take it. When that happened, our garbage would accumulate until it was trash day again. It is very unpleasant to live trying to smash the trash down all week long.

The same thing happens in our own lives. We have all probably collected emotional baggage or trash that we can't get rid of over the years. For example, when someone causes us pain and wounds our heart and it is not repaired, we may begin to harbor bad feelings in corners of our heart. I can tell you that I'm so guilty of this. Or maybe we took the time to do some good for someone at the cost of much effort and even personal sacrifice, and we do not even receive a simple thank you. Other times, we feel pain because someone fails us; maybe they forgot that appointment or a special day, birthday, anniversary. As the years add up and times go by, we accumulate all this pain, despair, discouragement, resentment, envy, anger, rage, disappointment, and thousands of negative feelings that will begin to fill our minds with bitterness and hatred.  I've decided to no longer live my live with unneeded animosity. Let's take out the trash!

The other day I read an article in my newspaper about two people at a traffic light who got so upset with one another because neither one of them wanted to give way to the other. They began to yell at each other stopped all the traffic. They got out of their cars and the fight was on. Blows were thrown. After it reached that point, it didn't take long for them to take out guns, and both shot each other. Both were killed. I have no doubt that both individuals had accumulated a lot of emotional baggage that they had not bothered to throw away, and when they least expected it the baggage overwhelmed and destroyed them. They could no longer bear the weight of all that pain, bitterness, and the troubles of life. They died consumed by their awful bitterness, leaving their families and loved ones in terrible pain, all because they didn't take out their garbage.

How do we get rid of our emotional baggage? My first suggestion is that daily we decide to get rid of it so. Everynight, before bedtime, I've begun to make peace with myself and everyone in my life. Anything that I'm holding ill feelings about, I let go and I feel good when I go to sleep. It is so much easier to take out the trash in small portions than to wait until it is too much for you to carry alone. The sooner we deal with the pain, disappointment, resentment or hatred, the sooner we will recover our peace. Obviously, some events in life will require a longer or slower process to heal. A death, abandonment, disappointment in love, fraud, and betrayal are all circumstances that cause painful and unpredictable emotions. These are emotions that many of us can't handle by ourselves. Regardless it all requires a steady determination to not allow the pain and bitterness to pile up and steal your joy and love of living.
Don't forget to take out the trash

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