This all happens to us. An assortment of odds and ends. An extra house key, extra key rings for that extra house key (“just in case”), a baggie of twist ties and rubber bands, extra note pads from whatever organizations asking for money via the mail, a flashlight, and of course back up batteries, and, oh… let’s not forget some sort of fire starter. Be it a box of matches, lighter, candle, or two sticks to rub together.
Before long those 2 or 3 pencils/pens have multiplied to over a dozen of them.
So we come up with a brilliant idea. Creating a second junk drawer. You can relate, “To cut down on the heap of clutter in the first junk drawer. It’ll make things more organized.”
So as we split the items up we’re determining the priority of all of those items.
“Which drawer is the most important one? Because the more important items will be going into the most important drawer.”
So now we have 2 junk drawers with the perfect justifications for needing each one. Days, weeks, months go by, and eventually, both junk drawers are difficult to close. They’re overcrowded with all of that ‘necessary stuff’. Some of which has been used and, more likely than not, have never been touched.
And what happens? Yup. A third junk drawer is created. You know, for those fancy incense sticks you bought. Not to mention the additional number of pencils/pens that have accumulated. Oh, and now there’s a couple of extra screws, paper clips, a few more lighters, and some bulldog clips.
Now there are three junk drawers for all of those items mentioned, not to mention the myriad of unmentioned items according to the individual’s preference. I know this can happen. Yes, I’m speaking from first-hand ex[ereinces.
Several months later (okay, 1 year and 3 months to be exact) comes the realization I actually haven’t used some of those ‘just in case’ items.
(I stand up) “Hello, my name is Bryan and I’m a junk drawer junkie.”
So I started to look at each item in those 3 junk drawers to determine if I really need to keep it.
Then it happened. A bright light shone down upon me (okay, that was for dramatic purposes) as I have the realization, similar to the multitude of items we stash away, what about all of those negative and unpleasant experiences from my past I haven’t bothered to FULLY acknowledge and OWN them?
All of those hurts, resentments, guilt complexes, unruly reactions, anger, traumas…the list goes on and on. Like the three junk drawers, I eventually stashed them away without honestly processing them. I just moved on with life.
A case in point:
Everyone can relate to regretting making that comment towards someone. Reacting without thinking of the possible consequences it could have. You end up hurting them but justify it as that remark being insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Or worse yet, someone does that to you. You’re hurt without ever processing the reason why the remark triggered such a hurtful reaction in you. I know I either lashed out or, more often than not, remained quiet and ACTED like it didn’t bother me. In both cases what do you/I do? We stuff it away and move on. This goes for any negative experience that crosses our path. Whether frequent or infrequent each ‘event’ we choose not to fully acknowledge and confront gets stashed away into our subconscious junk drawers. Totally oblivious to any future ramifications from not truly acknowledging those feelings and reactions. Bit by bit, day by day, week to week, turning into years and years … you get the picture, that’s a lot of stuffing and repressing.
Readers of any of my blogs on this site know that unacknowledged emotions can lead to a variety of health problems, mental, physical, and spiritual. So I don’t feel I have to go down that rabbit hole.
So I’m currently going through my junk drawers. Both types: the 3D physical kind and my mental junk drawer.
With the 3D junk drawers, I’ve decided to eliminate the items I haven’t used in the past year. One way or the other I’m getting rid of them. Donated to friends, family, or thrift stores they’re going “bye, bye”. It’s that cut and dry.
My mental junk drawers? Easier said than done. Nobody wants to relive any of those hurtful experiences. However, I’ve come to discover it’s in the FULL acknowledgment of whatever happened/happens to me becomes the key to my mental freedom and anxiety.
What does FULL ACKNOWLEDGMENT mean to me?
To ACCEPT that the experience did occur. To ALLOW the accompanying emotions to come forward and let my FEELINGS FLOW THROUGH ME. I stick with them until I exhaust those feelings. I may experience them for a few moments or part of a day. Nonetheless, I know they’ll run out of steam. Then I can REFLECT and be OBJECTIONAL, all the while not accumulating stress.
One saying I’ve heard from recent years is, “If I knew better I would have done better”. I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself due to the fact that back when whatever happened I didn’t have the knowledge/wisdom to process those experiences. Then what happened? I found I was developing forgiveness for those that harmed me. Once again applying those words to them, “If THEY knew better they would have done better”.
I can’t emphasize how important all of this is.
So at the risk of being too preachy….”How’s YOUR junk drawer?”