April 27, 2010

Thoughts On Cleaning Closets . . .

Image via Bing

There's something about cleaning closets.  For an anal, control freak, type A kinda girl like me, it's completely theraputic. Last week I finally got around to cleaning my closet and putting my winter/fall clothes away until the chill comes back to the air and I want my long sleeves again.

When I clean out my closet, it is an all day affair.  It involves removing EVERY LAST THING from the closet and systematically going over each piece of clothing or pair of shoes while asking myself questions like, "Have I worn this in the past year?" or "Is this looking a little worn, dated, tattered or torn?" and my favorite, "Do I even like this?" which usually leads to "Why on earth did I ever buy this in the first place?"

The questioning eventually results in a pile of clothes on the floor that are symbolic representions of my impulsiveness, carelessness and regret.  I shove all those emotions in a bag and drop them off at the Salvation Army for someone else to deal with.  Then I go on with  my life until the next closet cleaning.

Last week I was at the usual presidency meeting for my latest church calling as Primary Secretary.  To start the meeting, one of the ladies shared a spiritual thought that pretty much rocked me to the core - especially when she looked me {and the other two women present} in the eyes and asked, "So, do you need to clean out your spiritual closet?"

The quote she shared with us came from a talk given by David A. Bednar:
The standard is clear. If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us. Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us. Because we estrange the Spirit of the Lord when we engage in activities we know we should shun, then such things definitely are not for us.

Then she challenged each of us to clean out our spiritual closet, ridding it of anything that may be preventing us from more fully feeling the Spirit in our lives on a daily basis. 

And so I came home and asked myself the questions, "In the past year, what has kept me from feeling the Spirit?" and "Are there pieces of my spiritual practice that are worn, tattered or torn?" and of course, "Why do I even do some of these things in the first place, if I know they don't bring me closer to Him?"  Then I went to work making a pile of impulses, careless actions and regrets to rid myself of.

I am saying goodbye to favorite TV shows {so long Glee}.  I am unbookmarking favorite internet haunts {adios People.com}.  I am carving out time for my own spiritual enlightenment {hello early morning scripture study} and I am once again putting things that matter most first {get ready for scheduled one on one time kiddoes!}. 

I recognize that this is personal.  I am putting this out here as a way to feel accountable.  I also recognize that just like my clothing closet, my spiritual closet will need to be cleaned often as it tends to pile up with junk rather quickly.  And the cleaning isn't always an easy job to do.

But for an anal, control freak, type A kinda girl like me . . . it's feeling good.

   dragonfly signature


Apis Melliflora said...

I, too, need to clean out my closets, inventory, reorganize and freshen up...in all the same ways you have. I've spent less time on Facebook and cut my computer favorites list down considerably. I usually only have one must watch show at a time, occasionally two.

AllisonK said...

Great post Sam! Both need some much needed attention here.

Jami G said...

You da bomb!!! You inspire me! Thank you. Our Heavenly Father created a beautiful dragonfly. I think I'm a nymph, hoping to grow wings like yours.

chelsea said...

Glee?! I'm sad you are going to miss Glee. Last weeks show really did have to make you think, but other than that...that show makes me smile. I understand what you're talkin about though.

The Queen Vee said...

I'm with you on this one, all the way.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I'm going through the same closet cleaning (physically and spiritually) ritual right now. After getting rid of a few pieces of baggage and distractions I find myself thinking "Why was I so attached to doing that in the first place? This feels so much better!"

Tobi said...

I just had the internet turned on in my new house. But I noticed that without the internet distraction, I got so much more done. I realized today that the internet needs to be a reward for me accomplishing all my household chores. Instead of an activity I do in order to avoid my responsibilities.

Laura said...

This made me think. I need to commit to prioritizing what needs to get done every day. I too like People.com (glad I'm not the only one). Time to double check my bookmarks on the computer, and clean out my google reader!