June 2, 2017

The Life-Saving Magic of Kicking our Junk to the Curb.

What would we do with our lives if we didn’t constantly deal with our own self-created junk?

Or, what would we do if we didn’t allow the ingestion of so much other junk from people spoon-feeding it into our systems?

Our cultivated delusions, coupled with their ideals, politics, sales pitches, and personal blanket of conclusions drawn from specific experiences, will always work to thwart the full engagement of our authentic lives and purpose.

Unless we do something about it.

Isn’t it high time we sort and sift through our hoarded junk piles and the stuff that others want us to believe in order to save, and savor, our human existence before we fully regret it?

Tossing away life-sapping junk is a magical experience. Here are some useless piles of junk worth kicking to the curb:

Perfection. Our house must be magazine-worthy. We must have granite counter tops. It must appear as though Chip and Joanna Gaines just stopped by to decorate with their “sweet Magnolia pot-pie-down home” design expertise. They’re selling us happiness via rustic fixtures, farm tables, and up-cycled knick-knacks.

Our bodies must also feel and look perfect, like Instagram yoga models and fitness professionals. That is the message. The sellers of these ideas want us to believe that in order to enjoy our lives and be happy, everything must be perfect—or darn close to it.

The truth is that if we open our eyes each morning with a sense of self-worth and purpose, if we feel great inside and out, happiness is sure to follow. Life doesn’t require perfection. It only wants us to show up and participate. It wants us to simply wake up and engage. The idea of perfection is a huge junk pile we can kick to the curb.

Toys. Our kids need tons of toys and technology and stuff—and so do we! They need video games, and buckets of Lego bricks, and 10 different American Girl dolls. We need jet ski’s and iPads and Kitchen-Aid mixers. Stuff is fun, but deep down we all know that too much is simply just a pile of junk we’ll have to clean and organize and eventually sell or give away. I can cut my vegetables with a knife. My daughter can enjoy her one doll. Our yards and homes are often filled to the brim with junk. We all like our junk, but we can’t seem to manage it.

It is indeed a soul-cleansing experience to rid ourselves of useless clutter. There’s a reason why so many of us crave simplification. It removes the tangible junk from our “life picture,” and allows us to focus on other things, like living in the present moment instead of the drudgery of maintaining our junk. Having “more” is supposed to make us feel good, but it doesn’t serve us in any way if we are slaves to it.

Mobile device checking. We need to move past the feeling that we are going to “miss” something important if we unplug for a bit. Unplugging is the most liberating thing we can do during the course of our day. The notifications and news feed will be there whether we scroll through them or not. Our stockpile of “likes” on Facebook cannot be our validation. We aren’t living our own lives if we are constantly checking to see what everyone else is doing.

Someday. Someday I’ll get there. Tomorrow I’ll do it. Next week, when things aren’t quite as hectic, I’ll look into it. “My dream is to have a food truck, and I’ll do it when the time is right.” This is the type of lie most of us tend to tell ourselves all throughout our lives. Someday is a “junk thought” because the clock continues ticking. If we wait for someday, we don’t ever get what we want because we never take any steps to get there, and then guess what? We die. Newsflash: The only someday is today.

Magic face cream. We all know that expensive face creams don’t work, and yet we all keep dropping cash on little jars of hope. Face cream is nice, our skin needs it, but like it or not, time lashes away at us like a nasty, relentless hurricane that won’t be subdued. And it’s okay. Those fashion magazines, and all the corporations that manufacture skin creams and beauty products are selling us the fantasy of prolonged youth.

But here’s the thing: We could submerge our heads in a vat of face cream for a month straight, and we will not be 15 when we pull our heads out, right? Go ahead and use the cream. God knows it feels nice. But do kick that junk idea that it’s making a significant difference in your appearance straight to the curb. We must embrace our beautiful selves—wrinkles, age, and all.

Our mountain of jeans. You know what’s a junk pile? All the clothes we never wear. They sit gathering dust in our closets. We “go through” and “weed out” but we can’t seem to part with that stupid V-neck sweater we bought four years ago—the one with the tags that we had to have, but still haven’t worn. Over the years, I’ve probably spent $5,000 trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. Yet, if I just had a few carefully selected, perfect fitting jeans, I’d have room in my closet and I wouldn’t have to try on 10 different pairs (that subsequently end up in another junk pile on my floor) every time I go out. Go figure.

Having it all. A big pile of junk is trying in vain to be all things to all people. There’s no need to juggle everything so that we can have it all. Having it all means absolutely nothing if we do not have our own lives first. Here’s another revelation: People don’t have to like you, and you don’t have to like them. Work to impress yourself first, and the junk will fall away.

Yesterday. Yesterday was fun, but yesterday is gone. Today is our focus. Do the right thing today. Say the right thing today. Be the kind of person you would like to be, today. Start something new, today. As our friend Waylon Lewis says, “Now is a good place to be.”

The spin. We’ve seen and heard it over and over. Our leaders, on both sides of the aisle, continue to skew the facts. There is a science to semantics, and it’s important to sift through it to get to the truth. The truth gets spun so well and often that it becomes a big biased pile of fluffy cotton candy clouds that mean nothing. It’s difficult to excavate fact gems from a messy pile of sticky junk that makes us all sick, but it can be done. Kick “the spin” to the curb when you recognize it.

In order to live authentically, and with meaningful purpose, it’s important to know the junk piles as they accumulate. When we sort through them, they are easy to toss out. Once engaged, it becomes clear that freedom and clarity come from eliminating some of the junk—thoughts, ideas, and stuff—we carry around and hoard.

Kicking all our life-sapping junk to the curb is magical. It releases us to our true purpose, which is to live a happy, less encumbered life.


Author: Kimberly Valzania
Image: Unsplash
Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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