Over to one side of the yard, is our storage building. Dad had it built when he and mom still lived in this house. His intentions were to open a bait and tackle shop, instead it stored his boat. Buying this house, meant we got that nice sized building to store our stuff. Over the course of time the building filled up. One or the other of us would go in searching for something and leave the contents in a shambles. The roof is tin and since it hasn’t been properly cared for, it leaks in places.
Last year after I lost my job and needed something to do to stay busy, I began yard work. I was afraid of snakes and there were too many places they could hide. In the clearing, I did uncover several venomous snakes, which made me very concerned about that disaster of a building. Finally I could put it off no longer. It was my last main project. Thankfully my son helped with this one.
This building is divided in half. One side has a regular door, the other a garage door. One of the springs is broken on the garage door making it incredibly difficult to open. We started on the side with the regular door and began dragging things out. There was a pile for the trash and a much smaller pile of keepers. Once that side was cleared, we had to figure a way to open the door to the other. There were things in that side that would not fit through the regular door. After much thought, my son came up with the idea of using a ratchet strap. We finally got a method that worked and got the door open, after much grunting, groaning and a few choice words from my son. Making sure the door was secure, we set to cleaning that side.
We ended up taking three trips to the landfill with a trailer piled high of secured trash. We then carefully moved the keeper stuff back into the building in a much more organized manner. What a difference it makes. The building still leaks, so there is nothing out there that water would damage, that is not in a waterproof container.
That’s all well and good you say, but why should all that interest me? Simple.Our mind, is our storage building.
As infants we are putting in the knowledge of what is important to us at the time. How to get fed, how to get changed, how to get nap time. Most important, how to get those snuggles and love.
As we grow, what we put in that storage varies. We have an education to get. We have to learn to play, and get along with others. We learn the foods we like, and those we don’t. Information that is tucked away inside our mind. Stored so we can recall whether we prefer cheese pizza to supreme, whether we prefer to paint or write or play baseball or fish. What we learn about the differences in people, places and things. We learn our jobs and we learn our play time. We store emotions, memories, thoughts, how this or that made us feel. Our brain, the body’s super computer with unlimited storage. Plenty of room to upload information, an activity that keeps it active, healthy and alive. Allowing us to easily recall information instantly. Well, except for those things you put in a safe place.
Unfortunately, there are times when we store things that we shouldn’t. Sometimes, we store things we may not realize have been tucked away. Things such as a computer malware attack that has slipped in and attached itself. When we realize what has happened, it is time for a good clearing out.
I use myself as an example as I know myself and have given myself permission.
Over the course of my life I have, as is natural, added much to my storage space. Most good, some not so good. I have put so many various containers and folders in there that at times I forgot what all was in there. As time passed, it became a jumbled mess of thoughts, knowledge and memories. Beliefs that were correct and incorrect. Life had me moving at a pace that I never had time to sort it out. To get to the information I needed, I had to sort through a lot of trash.
After I lost my job and the pandemic closed so much of everything down, I’ve had plenty of time to go through this mental maze and sort things out. Just as I did that building.
I’ve tossed the please everyone attitude. Realizing, it isn’t possible.
I’ve tossed the what good are you attitude that was placed there by others.
The feelings of lacking intelligence. Not going to college does not make me less intelligent. I simply don’t have that expensive piece of paper.
I’ve tossed the feelings not fitting in because of differences. We are all different in some way.
There are things that I didn’t toss, not because I want to cling to them, but because they are useful.Such as the memories of abuse. Because as long as I remember, I can better empathize with others. I don’t use it as a crutch. I keep it tucked away in its own folder, but its there when needed.
I know though, that it isn’t always that easy to accomplish this. There are times when you say begone, but thoughts, ideas and beliefs can come slinking back. You can chop down the bush, but unless you get every root, that bush will come back. But as you grow in strength and confidence, the clearing away gets easier.
Within us all, is that storage. Within us all are the good and the bad. Within us all, is the ability to work through what all we have added to the storage. There is no shame though, if we reach a point where we need help. Someone a little stronger, a little better prepared or trained to know how to open the doors that are broken. Someone who can help sort through the stuff that is useful, and separate it from the stuff that needs to be hauled away.
I know, that since I have gone through and cleared away so much of my mental clutter, I feel much better. I can toss away things more easily now. If my feelings are hurt, if I’m angered over some trivial matter, I know to not hold onto that, it isn’t important. I’ve taken the last year and done a good bit of heavy cleaning. My yard, my home, my storage building look so much better and are much more useful. Organizing the mental storage has done much the same. I no longer suffer with thoughts and emotions that bothered me a year or even more, ago. I deal with them and move on. I am much happier and much more at peace now.