Junk Closets. Nearly every house has one. Over time, little by little, the clutter piles up. There may have been some organization at first but, by and by, it gradually becomes a disorganized heap of random objects that really do not belong together. It doesn’t seem quite right to get rid of things that once served a purpose. Now, however, they are just added to the rest of the junk in the closet. Eventually, it becomes too much. It’s time to clean the closet out.
Sometimes in counseling I compare the process of growth to cleaning out the junk closet. We know there’s room in our life for improvement, for us to have it more “together” and to feel better about how we’re dealing with the demands of our day-to-day, but the process of getting there is hard. We don’t know what we will find when we open the door! Often we have overlooked what has been hidden away for so long, we forget why the items were put there to begin with.
The process of counseling is like making the decision that the closet has been messy for far too long – it’s time to get things in order.
Unfortunately, this means things may get even more messy in the short term. Getting our emotional lives in order means dealing with the junk that’s been hidden from sight. Bringing it out into the open, looking at it and deciding what to do with it. Many times, the decision we make is that we’ve been storing it for long enough and it’s time to free ourselves from the responsibility of it. Like with the closet junk, we begin to toss what is no longer needed.
In the process, we will hopefully discover that there are things that have been tucked away that are good! Resources that have kept us functioning through difficult times. Memories that, though difficult, are important parts of who we are. Joyful times that we would be sad to walk away from. These we want to keep but we’re not going to go through all the hard work of sifting through everything only to just cram the things we’re hanging on to back in the closet! No! We’re going to have a better way to organize and make sense of what is there. The parts that we want to access often will be front-center, ready for us to reach in and grab without other distractions getting in the way. The parts that we know we need to hang on to but do not need to address as often, may be stored further away. We have to be a bit more intentional to take a look at them. This is ok; they’re there when we need them.
Once we feel we’ve done the hard work, we’re left with a much more enjoyable space where we are free to open the door and explore what’s inside. No more fearing that everything will come spilling out. Counseling allows you to sort through the junk, making sure that your energy is not wasted keeping things hidden. It allows you to live free knowing that everything you’re hanging on to serves an important purpose when, and as, you need it to!
Don’t be afraid to open the closet and take a look. Decide it’s worth spending time on. Give me a call and let me know if you’d like some help, “cleaning out the junk!”