The saga continues……the moving saga that is! As I begin collecting boxes to begin my packing regime, I realize yet another thing I am thankful for. I am not a clutter bug! This made me think of how widespread this phenomenon can transfer into every area of our lives.
Relationships – many people have the tendency to acquire friends who clutter their lives & create a negative influence. I have a huge percentage of the sanguine personality trait & genuinely love people. This, however, is not a fault. I have learned to filter the people I actually include in my inner circle. Being influenced by someone is more seductive than you imagine, therefore you must be careful of whom you associate with. While serving in the single adult ministry, I recognized cyclic behavior patterns that are almost embraced. This is primarily traced back to the root of low self-esteem & lack of self-confidence, but never the less….people become involved with people they can either control or feel worthy to be accepted by. This is something that quickly causes me to utilize emo intel (emotional intelligence! ) because if not….I become angry. Angry to think we settle, retreat, or compromise. We clutter our lives or futures with people who will never help us rise to our fullest potential. This may be harsh, but even some of our family members will conflict our future.
When I became a network marketing professional I attended my first leadership seminar & it changed my life. This may sound cliché, but it is what it is. While listening to a very successful couple, Mark & Jenn Paul, share their story of dreams, struggles, & apparent victories, I heard the sweet, still voice of the Holy Spirit. To many, this suggestion was not of God. I received ridicule and rebuttal from many of my closest friends, but to me, it was the clear, precise, & clear-cut direction I needed to hear. I heard, “You need to lay aside the singles ministry.” Then, I didn’t realize the impact this one command would now make on my life. I didn’t merely attend a singles Sunday school class or small group, I was the Singles Director. My primary focus had been on developing leaders within the singles ministry & creating a community consortium with 9 other area singles ministries in a bi-county perimeter. Why was this the right decision to make? Why did it look like a demotion to some & a promotion to me? Simple. I learned I would be more effective as a mentor, leader, coach to singles nationwide in business. My sphere of influence greatly expanded. Relationship requirements & personal growth & development expectations increased. I had to determine what was more important. Was it mentoring with successful entrepreneurs who would impart wisdom, skills, knowledge & challenge me to grow far beyond my current level of leadership capabilities or continue planning the monthly social calendar? I had to un-clutter my relationships. Does that mean I stopped liking those people? Absolutely not! I just withdrew giving permission for certain people to influence my schedule, decisions, & life. There is a mantra by a man I respect in business. It is a check point & balance each time I read it. “I release those things which no longer serve me.”- Randy Gage. To some this may sound cold or insensitive because I am referencing relationships. To me, it is imperative if you wish to develop the potential God has ordained that you to walk in. Let’s face it…..the Bible even tells us Jesus was not taken seriously in his own home town. While he served the multitudes, he kept company with 12. He instructs us not to cast the pearls of our wisdom before the swine. Even further it is said for us to shake the dust off our sandals & move on. Why then do we insist on holding onto relationships even God himself would not support? If I read correctly, this wasn’t just one or two people, but entire towns.
Clutter in any area of our lives can be detrimental to our success, but relational clutter can be deadly to dreams–your dreams & the dreams of others. While being the singles director I enforced frequent self evaluations. I didn’t know the meaning of P.D.C.A.– plan, do, check & adjust– but I did understand we have to frequently look inside out to see if we are progressing or digressing. Don’t enter another relationship with “junk in your trunk.” I challenge you to read this quote & apply it to your sphere of relationships. “Most people stay the same person and attract the very things they want to repel” – Claude Hamilton. I will not be like most people.
The second & last category of clutter I wish to discuss is in your thinking. You may have thought this was going to be a blog on crammed junk drawers, closets overflowing with memorabilia you need to trash, or clothes from 3 sizes ago you will never wear again. It is. The way you think is directly related to all those things. I recently read the brain can’t entertain more than one dominant thought at a time. Why then do we insist on those dominant thoughts being negative ones? Why do we keep those clothes that are either out of style or no longer fit? Why do you see people you haven’t seen in years & they have never changed their hairstyle? Why do you visit friends & leave feeling like you want to go home & throw away everything? Do you ever ride with someone else & it leaves you wanting to take your car to be detailed? We hoard for many reasons. There are great discussions on this subject & I will not attempt to discuss them. What I will discuss is simply this. A trip to the mirror of your choice will answer many of the reasons for the behavior listed above. You are not happy with yourself. You do not believe in yourself. You have listened to the wrong people saying the wrong things about you instead of listening to what your creator says. I think the Bible says you are the apple of His eye. You are fearfully & wonderfully made. He records the conversations you have about Him & He collects your tears. If he has engraved your name on the palm of His hand, why would you ever believe you are not worthy? This goes way beyond someone having a tattoo of your name on their bicep! You clutter your mind with way to many, “What if’s?” rather than asking, “Why not?”
I have never understood the state of depression. I firmly believe it is a choice. Chemical, schmemical! I’m not talking about bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., but depression. Many times it is a cry for help, but mainly a selfish excuse to prevent dealing with what requires your attention. I realize there are lapses of momentary depression related to certain situations we face, however the length of that stage is a choice. Depression creates clutter & diagnosis your inability to be honest with yourself. Not dealing with certain things whether relationally, physically, financially or materially can be traced back to our thinking. Check your motivation & chances are if you are not running for a cause, serving others, chasing a dream or running from a dread, you are stuck in Sluggsville. Change your thinking & change your results!
I have a love hate relationship when it comes to moving. I have a mantra when it comes to whether or not you need something. “If in doubt, toss it out.” If you have things boxed that you haven’t used since the last time you moved, chances are, they will just occupy space. I had to come to terms with my need to own power tools. I am such a do-it-yourself, tool-belt-diva. I recently realized that stage of my life is dormant & I do not need to pack every gadget I have collected. One day I will own the beautiful historically registered Victorian Pink Lady, the sprawling Tuscan Villa Estate, the cottage at Martha’s Vineyard, the 1br/1ba Craftsman near my babies, & the beach front villa on some exotic island, & when I do, I may or may not invest in what I need. As for now….having maintenance on speed dial serves me. All I require is my cute, tiny, purple, floral hammer, my small electric drill/screwdriver, my small Dremel, a small assortment of screws, nails, both white & super glue. I won’t even own duct tape. I know that is like the anti-Christ of homeowners, but seriously….I left that behind when I moved from La! Everything I “need” will fit in one drawer of my cute utility room storage unit.
Maybe I am becoming a decor minimalist as one of my ER docs touted he was. At that time, I could never saw myself as this. Now…I am content. I challenge you to inventory your life in the areas of clutter. It may be painful at first, but I promise it becomes easier. Act as though you are moving. You are…moving on.