Garbage isn’t a topic of conversation I typically pursue.
Until I can’t ignore the trash.
“What smells funny in here.”
“I don’t smell anything.”
“It stinks really bad!”
I’d become that commercial. I was nose blind.
There was a reason my daughter smelled something unusual. I hadn’t taken the trash out in days–it takes us longer to fill a bag–and there were some pretty ugly things near the bottom that had opportunity to ripen.
You can stuff so much more in those bags now. It’s why so many come with an added deodorizer.
This is the downside of fewer people in the house. When all the kids were home, we’d fill a big kitchen bag daily. Nothing had time to get sour indoors.
Talking to a good friend recently, we were commiserating over the reality of feeling the heaviness of life. We’ve both had a lot going on. Emotionally draining projects. Difficult decisions. Prickly people.
For some off the wall reason, I was reminded of my garbage bags. Full and foul. Things kept inside and not disposed of quickly became worse with time.
Life issues can be that garbage bag.
When I let things stay inside without dealing with them, without talking them out with someone and getting them out of my head, they become really ripe. Like my funky trash.
Having unresolved problems or people conflicts can be emotionally exhausting. I can’t always identify the real problem. My heart feels weighted. Despair feels like it’s lurking around the corner. This I know–the more I put off dealing with matters, the harder they become to face.
Because I’m not a natural internalizer and ponderer, unless I talk to someone I trust, the problem sits. Festering like an infected wound. Full of puss and problems. Those challenging issues need to be exposed to the light. Brought out of hiding so they can’t become a bigger problem than they already are.
Internal and external processors alike need opportunities to air hurts, misunderstandings, disappointments. The only way to do that effectively is with folks who know us well. Safe people. Those who won’t condemn, criticize, judge or mock me if I come to them with a yelp for help and need someone to talk me off the ledge.
People I know will listen.
Like my garbage, it’s often easier to just stuff more things in than remember to take it to the curb. The action of dealing with a stench rather than just getting it out of sight in a garbage can often requires more energy than I have in the moment. Or I just don’t care enough to do it.
I’ve got people in my life who are those places of refuge. Geography isn’t the issue. Connecting is. They’ll listen to my diatribe without panic or judgment. Then offer wise advice.
The safest of places? Jesus. He doesn’t condemn, even though He knows it all. He doesn’t mock me, even though He recognizes I hide. I can connect with Him anytime. No need to schedule, wait for a calm minute or have a charged phone.
He deals with my garbage. With a more thorough cleansing than a deodorizer.
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