Winter is over and spring is here! We’ve been waiting for this season to arrive. It is time to get rid of the heavy coats, the Uggs boots. Time to put away the bulkiest sweater. Oh! It is time to clean out your handbag too. You know what handbag I’m talking about. The one that is big enough to carry your life in. In it you have makeup, chewing gum, a comb, a brush, Q-tips, lotion and a book… There is more, hand sanitizer, feminine products, movie ticket stubs, unfinished week old water bottle and loose change. Wait! I’m not done, there’s headphones, a charger, business cards, Advil, body spray and so much more.
For a handful of us ladies, our handbag doubles as a second home. We carry our whole lives in there. Everything is at our fingertips. It accommodates all our essentials and more. How convenient, right? Do we really need everything in this bag? Are there any injuries resulting from carrying this mass on our shoulder? Of course! Carrying something heavy and useless for a prolonged time will always cost us something.
A couple of years ago, on my way to school I decided to be a good citizen and purchase the NY Daily Newspaper. When I finished reading it I put it in my tote bag. And for weeks after this newspaper remained there folded. One day I opened the bag to put an envelope that I had $200 in. The envelope rested the newspaper. Days flew by and the envelope still remained there. One day I decided to clean out this tote bag that I used daily to school and work. By this time, this newspaper looked old, and messily folded. And for the life of me I couldn’t remember why this was even still there. As I start to clean out the bag the first thing I threw away was the newspaper. Yup! You got that right. I never took the envelope out. The following day, it dawned on me that I threw away the newspaper that had the envelope that contained the $200. Yikes! I ran downstairs to look through the big trash bin outside. The trash was GONE! The sanitation truck picked up the trash that morning. Yup! You got that right again, I lost $200. What would happen if I threw away that paper when I was done with it? I would be $200 richer. This is the kind of cost I had to pay for carrying an unneeded thing for too long in my bag.
This handbag symbolizes our lives. It is cluttered with so much junk (if I may). We packed it with things that we should have thrown away long ago. We keep outdated crumbled receipts, leaking pens, candy wrappers and pennies in this “handbag.” Symbolizing what we are lugging around, unforgiveness, that break-up text message, that drama-full-friend, that rejection letter, that rumor, that deadbeat boyfriend etc. Over time, this “handbag” will cause damage to our shoulder and back. In time, these seemingly light and minor yet un-called for load we carry in our lives will be the straw that “breaks the camel’s back.”
A great deal of things we put in our handbag is because of the not wanting to litter in the streets mindset. Needless to say, we are littering our lives with things we don’t need ironically. We say we hold on to certain people because we don’t want to “hurt people’s feelings. We even say we hold on to certain people because they need us. But is it really true? Or it is because it is hard to let go. Some people and things we are making a memento of were only meant to be for a moment. We neglect to see the long-term damage that comes with holding on to these things. We hold on to the broken-dead-unresurrected relationship. Then we get our hearts broken, fall into depression, panic attacks. Now, do we really need it?
Imagine how much lighter your life would be after you’ve purged it of all the inessential things: The drama, the gossiper, the cheater, the backstabbers, the parasitic relationships. It has got to go. Some of you are probably still saying,“ but I will need it.” Let me be completely honest with you, you don’t need it and you won’t need it. It is time to clean house. The time to clean your life is NOW. Don’t’ let what happened to me happen to you. Holding on to this newspaper cost me $200. Perhaps losing that kind of money is nothing for you. But holding on to a deadly situation can cost you your life. It’s time to clean.
As you are in transitioning from a heavy “handbag” to a light one, the habit of “I will need for later” will resurface. After you’ve cleaned, it is easy to find your life back in the same condition it was before. Be diligent in keeping it load free, junk free, drama free and at times even friend free. You know what your disposable loads that you are carrying. Maybe I didn’t mention it directly but you know what it is. Be honest with yourself and purge it out. Pruning never hurt the fertility of a tree. The lack of pruning does. I want you to muster the courage to clean out that “handbag.” Muster the courage to clean out your life.
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Thank you for reading.