Getting the Yuckies Out
When my nephew Bill was a very young child, he and his mother developed a bedtime ritual that rid him of his worries and concerns of the day. He called it "getting the yuckies out." Once he'd shared his troubles with his mother, he was content to call it a day. None of those yucky thoughts could hover at the edge of sleep to threaten his pleasant dreams.
We all need to take time to rid ourselves of the yucky stuff that depletes our energy and clips the wings of our hearts. A regular assessment and exorcism of the dark, clingy burdens to our spirits liberates us. Sometimes, it takes a really good therapist to help identify what really bothers us. But there are also simple steps we can take ourselves when we feel yuckiness creeping in.
Phone a friend. I told a trusted friend that a particularly cathartic conversation (that's what I call it when I cry and ramble incoherently) with her was like cleaning out the closets of my soul. When you finally take time to clean out your closet, you know it always gets worse before it gets better. You wind up with a big pile of chaos on your bedroom floor and consider just pushing it back in the closet and closing the door. But if you stick with it...if you go through the difficult process of sorting and deciding what to keep and what to let go...you wind up with a sense of peace and order. It may be that no one else even notices your closets are tidy, but don't you feel better just knowing what you've accomplished? Obviously, the same is true when you clean out those internal spaces and let go of the thoughts that just don't fit anymore.
Write. I don't mean in the "journaling" sense. I love the idea of journaling, but frankly, if I'm feeling a bit blue, I don't need to launch another project to which I should (but fail to) remain committed. I just need to write. I need to get those thoughts out in front of me and see them in context. If I go through the exercise regularly enough and find myself writing about the same issues repeatedly, then Houston, I may have a situation. And if I leave myself in the situation without a strategy for improvement, I become a victim. Yuck-y!
Move. Walk outside. Walking on a treadmill in a gym where your focal point becomes a tv broadcasting a 24 hour news channel will only exacerbate your sense of dismay...trust me! Moving outside reminds you of your place in the world. And that would mean that you are not the center of it. It's just like the writing exercise in that it puts things in context and gives you more energy and increased stamina. And you can throw in a few dance moves just for fun.
Blog. This is my big sticky note on my forehead to myself. What was I thinking? You may not miss this blog if I just let it slip quietly away, but I do miss it. I miss this space we created where I remember what seeds to plant and what weeds to pull. I miss laughing at myself with you. So I'm back.
I wasn't as clever as my sister in naming nighttime rituals, but I did love snuggling in with my children as they shared what was on their hearts at the end of the day. And along the top of the walls in Mary Charlotte's room (because she is youngest, so naturally she got all the cool things) an artist painted a little poem I wrote to remind her of good things as she fell asleep and as she woke up to each new day.
God gives us love to plant like seeds wherever we may go. With each small act of kindness, God's love and goodness grows.
And so it does, my friends.