Marie Kondo is all the rage on Netflix right now and apparently Goodwill is hopping with all the latest and greatest because of it. So, one night last week, instead of tidying up my house, I watched “Tidying Up” on Netflix–which was obviously necessary and much more productive. Duh.
Now, let me be clear, I don’t know if I’ll be kneeling in the middle of my floor and thanking my house for providing a roof over my head with emotional music perfectly cued in the background. I am also quite doubtful that I’ll be perfectly folding my clothing face side up and placing said items delicately in my drawers and closets (yeah, not going to happen) —but I did take away quite a few things from episode one—most of which had nothing to do with reorganizing physical clutter in my home and had everything to do with organizing emotional clutter in my heart.
The family in this particular episode had become so buried with clutter that it was causing a sense of disfunction and conflict. The accumulation of unnecessary stuff was overwhelming and the load carried was too much to bear on their own. Because of that they lost sight of what really mattered. They weren’t spending quality time together, they were physically and mentally drained and even started to forget why they decided to become a family in the first place. Not good.
Emotional clutter is exactly the same way. It can collect slowly and gradually. It creeps in the corners and cracks. Events and emotions that occurred years ago can simply be stowed away in a corner collecting cobwebs while we are blissfully coasting through life saying “I’ll get to that later.”
Let me tell you something, from personal experience as a fellow procrastinator, “later” never comes on our terms. Later comes out of the blue and smacks you in the face and suddenly you’re tired. You’re tired because you’ve lived for so long not dusting the cobwebs of your heart and now the spirit you used to once have has become completely unrecognizable because it’s tainted with years of dust.
Our hearts become desensitized. We become less vulnerable. We become less aware, less open, more suspicious, less of who Jesus designed us to be.
The cobwebs don’t look like much when they start to creep in. We’re busy, we blink, and suddenly, low and behold before we know it we become an innocent little fly flying through life and then suddenly find ourselves stuck in this horrible muck of a web. We become completely raveled and consumed. (Yuck. How’s that for a visual?)
It’s true! Cobwebs carry into our relationships—especially our closest ones. Much like the couple featured on “Tidying Up”, they can cause us to lose sight of what’s right in front of us. They can lead to doubt, insecurities, distractions, hurt, anxiety, anger, fear and all sorts of misunderstandings. Many times, if we haven’t dusted our sometimes embarrassing or “shamefully” tangled web, we can end up causing another innocent person to reap the consequences for a web they didn’t even weave. Truth be be told, that is not very fair nor is it very healthy. Its deeply damaging. It can taint many of God’s greatest gifts.
I was challenged by this episode, in true Marie Kondo fashion— to look at something you’ve been holding onto that no longer sparks joy and to say “thank you” and let it go. Now look, I can look at a ratty old T-shirt and say thank you without skipping a beat and throw that piece of junk in a giveaway box in five seconds, give me a break—but how different would it be to look at a face that hurt you and say “thank you” and to repurpose that pain. Wow. Think about that for a second. Think about looking at a painful experience, thanking it and then giving it a new purpose. I believe that is exactly what we are called to do.
Notice how I said repurpose–not let go or negate. Many times I think we tend to push things to the side because we are simply trying to get rid of them. I don’t think that that is realistic for anyone that has any sort of memory. Certain things will stay with us. It is our job to simply dust them off and let God repurpose and rebrand them for greater good. How great is that? You don’t have to pretend to forget. It’s impossible to forget. Say thank you!
So what is something you have been holding onto that does not spark joy in your heart? What’s holding you back from loving and living to your full potential? What’s been sitting there in the cobwebs, slowing raveling you up or eating away at your relationships? Can you say “thank you” for the lesson and let it live on in a different way?
There is so much beauty in the present. Sometimes we have to take the time to dust through all the cobwebs of our past to really see our own hearts and to really remember why we’re here in the first place. To really appreciate where we are now, we need to say “thank you” to where we’ve been first.
So fold your clothes however you want, really truly that’s not going to end up on your gravestone anyway. Live your legacy freely enjoying the moments of today. Thank your dusty cobwebs, get out that swiffer duster and love to your fullest capacity- freely and fearlessly- just as He desires you to.