I did something this weekend that made me feel powerful. I gave away a coffee mug. That doesn’t sound like much but let me explain. The person who gave me this mug made me feel bad about myself. Every time I looked at this mug it reminded me of the unkind things she said and did, and that time of my life that was associated with unpleasant memories. I liked the mug, the quote on the mug was motivating and something I believed in, but I refused to use the mug because it always made me feel sad, and a little angry, and defeated.
Then it struck me: I don’t have to carry this mug around anymore, I don’t need this mug, I don’t have to keep this mug! So, my husband took it to work and put it in the break room where random people will drink their coffee from it and have zero emotional connection to it!
I’ve done that a few times in my life. And it feels great! Once I took a small ceramic jewelry box and smashed it instead of giving it away. That was symbolic too. I needed to eradicate those feelings fully from my heart and smashing that item was a breakthrough that symbolized me smashing the chains that person once had on me. It took a while. I held on to that item for years, and even used it because I felt guilty letting it go – it was a useful and pretty item. And, thinking back, I wonder in some way if I didn’t think (subconsciously) that maybe the things she had said to me were somehow useful too? That’s a sad thought but if we’re being honest, don’t we sometimes allow people to speak negatively into our lives because we somehow believe we deserve to hear those things?
If that resonates with you, just know that what you feel or think is untrue. I pray that you will rebuke whatever agreement you made with yourself that causes you to allow others to have that type of influence in your life. It may be time to put up a shield and protect yourself from those people. That’s a topic for another time but I know there are some reading this that may need to hear it.
Back to the box: On the surface I liked it, but every time I saw it or touched it, it produced those unwelcome feelings, and my mind raced back to the bad memories. One day I just realized that this item did not need a place in my home anymore. In doing that I also expressed that those damaging words from the person who gave it to me no longer deserved a place in my heart or mind anymore either!
What are you still giving place to in your heart, your mind, your memory bank that doesn’t deserve to be there? What memories or feelings of anger, bitterness, frustration, lies spoken by jealous or mean-spirited persons are you allowing to take up valuable real estate in your heart? The Bible tells us in (Philippians 4: 8) to think upon these things:
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
We are also admonished to be in control of our thoughts by bringing them into captivity unto the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Are your thoughts in obedience to what Jesus thinks about you? If you are constantly criticizing yourself, ask yourself this: Would Jesus criticize you? If you downplay your gifts or talents, ask yourself this: Would Jesus do that or would He celebrate the gifts HE gave you? Take inventory of your thoughts and memories. Look around today – is there something you can smash? Something you can give away?
Make a list of what you need to make more room for in your life? Do you need more peace? What is taking up peace real estate? Can you move it out of your mental and emotional space and let peace get that spot? Do you need confidence? What words run around in your mind that make you feel unworthy or incapable? Can you shoo those words out the door and rent that space out to some mind-blowing scriptures that remind you of how special and amazing you really are?
Do you need room for more love in your life? I can tell you this first hand: holding on to past offenses takes up a huge space in your heart. Read here about that!
Love will be squeezed to the corner as unforgiveness lounges front and center. Get a moving dolly, enlist the help of a friend, and hoist that heavy, costly piece of furniture out the door! You don’t have room for that. Free up that space.
I don’t’ know about you, but it can be hard to see when I am giving up valuable space to things that do not serve me or bring me peace and pleasure. I cringe at the thought of how long I’ve held on to certain things that crowded my heart and mind for too long. But, it is never too late or too early to do an inventory check and determine what needs to go. Pray today for God to open your eyes so you can see where some of these items are taking up the room you need for blessings. Begin to remove them one by one.
And here’s a tip: if you are waffling, saying things like “well, that’s not so bad, maybe I can live with it” – let it go. Trust me. The fact that it’s even surfaced for you to question means it needs to go. Just like that coffee mug I walked by day after day and passed over each morning. It nagged at me for more than a year and I fought this silly mental battle about it “not being so bad – I can live with it” until the other day when I realized it didn’t bring me peace or comfort. Get it out. Let it go. Free up space for the good things, the better things, the God things.
Go smash something today – I’ll be so proud of you! ~ Mary
See more about freeing up space and letting go here.