My life is stuffed full. During each second, in every corner, something is begging for my attention. I have definite hoarding tendencies in all areas of my life.
My house is stuffed with things. Over Christmas break last year, we took at least 6 truck loads of cast aside belongings to Good Will. Yet I still don’t have a proper place for everything I own.
My schedule is jam packed. If you look at my calendar, it’s really quite dizzying. The hours from 7am to 9pm are printed in it, and every line is filled with something. Things are even scrawled in the margins, as if those are extra available hours.
My stomach is always overstuffed. I eat until it’s painful at times, filling up every dark corner of my body. Food addiction replaced alcohol and drugs 15 years ago. It may be a better choice, but its overconsumption is still hurting me on so many levels.
The one place I do seem to have extra space is my lungs. I think there are whole days where I don’t fill them with even one strong, solid, deep breath. My husband says when he watches me sleep, it’s as if I’m panting.
I think this lack of still moments, open space, and deep breaths keeps me in a constant state of flurry. As I shared about my restlessness last week, I realized this is not the way I want to live my life. That feeling of being ungrounded is unnecessary and absolutely avoidable.
Here’s my advice to those of us with these tendencies to overfill every aspect of our lives:
Start the day with God. This has helped me tremendously in the past 6 weeks. When I open my Bible as I first open my eyes, instead of email and social media, I breathe deeper. I immediately create a different day by focusing on Him rather than all of that outside noise.
Leave food on your plate. For those of us forced to sit at a dining room table as a child, long after everyone else disappeared, pushing around cold food on our plates, this is a very tough one. We were told to clean our plates because there are starving children elsewhere.
I can assure you they aren’t going to get those leftovers. Leave some food on your plate and sponsor a sweet hungry child to make sure they are taken care of.
Declutter one room. My mom tells me this all the time. I get so overwhelmed with all of the extra stuff in my house, I find myself incapable of even beginning the overhaul that needs to take place. For me, this may mean decluttering a drawer or cabinet first rather than the promise of a whole room.
Just breathe… Stopping to pray throughout the day helps me in this area. I tie the two together. As I pray, I automatically take deep, cleansing breaths to focus and ground myself. Try making this a combination in your life. Drawing closer to God while increasing lung functioning is definitely a win-win.
This will not be an overnight fix. We have to work at creating these beautiful and necessary empty spaces. Let’s start somewhere today, even if it’s one small change.
Is there an area of your life that immediately jumps out at you? I would love to hear about it. Let’s chat…