5 Ways to Declutter Your Heart and Walk in Freedom – Part 2
Your heart is your lifeline to your existence. Every beat is precious because it means you’re alive. Be careful what your hoard in it. Because, if you’re not careful, you’ll pollute it with toxic emotional clutter. The secret to a healthy heart is to treat it with tender loving care.
But, there’s just one problem.
How can you declutter your heart?
Here’s the thing. It sounds simple but not everyone can do it.
Lots of people walk around with their heart packed full of toxins. They drag the rubbish around with them from one month or year to the next. And from one relationship to another.
What do I mean? Let’s look at the following…
The two key words are bitterness and ungratefulness.
Ask yourself these questions?
- Do you hold bitterness in your heart because another person hurt you deeply?
- Do you live with ungratefulness because you tend to look at the bad side of life?
If you’re nodding your head yes, you’re not the only one. Life is tough. I agree. But is it worth you suffering for what he or she did to you in the past? Or putting stress on your heart because of your mindset?
Let me explain by sharing this story…
Many years ago, my ex slapped me across the face because I said something that upset him. And that was just the beginning of many more violent blows. One night in anger, the fierce lash from the back of his hand knocked out one of my tooth. That’s not all. Endless nasty name-calling became part of our relationship. And you know what? He often locked me in the house, so I couldn’t get away from his abuse. And so on…
Of course, I was full of bitterness towards him. I even hated him at times. But guess what happened? The only person that was hurting emotionally was me.
So, where am I going with this?
Holding on to bitterness and hate will make you physically sick. I started to develop arthritis in the left part of my body, until it dawned on me that I was harming myself.
Then I realised what I had to do. So, I got rid of bitterness, unforgiveness and stopped hating. I cleansed my heart from the toxic junk. It wasn’t easy, and it took a long time. But I did it nevertheless.
The moral of this story? If you want something bad enough, do whatever it takes to change your story.
Here’s how you can make a start…
Kick out bitterness
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew it I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela
Bitterness is related to unforgiveness, hate and anger. I wrote about those two heart wreckers in part one. You can read it here. Here is something else to keep in mind, bitterness is deadly. You cannot live in freedom if this toxic junk is rooted in your heart.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say, bitterness breeds distress, bad temper, resentment, grudges, sarcasm and a whole heap of undesirable vibes. And that’s just sad, because whether you know it or not, nursing bitterness clutters your heart. What’s more, it’s like a rotten sore, spreading deep into your soul. Trouble is, if you don’t deal with bitterness it will slowly destroy your life and those around you.
You’re like a volcano ready to explode. Actually, because you’re hurting, you want to hurt the feelings of others. So, you spew out cutting words and hand out emotional thrashing. You’re in a never-ending battle with your mind.
Why do I say this?
Bitterness is a mind thing. It’s not a physical reality. It’s a toxic feeling resulting from the hurt someone did to you in the past. The definition of bitterness according to the Cambridge Dictionary is “Someone who is bitter is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget bad things that happened in the past.”
How to deal with bitterness
Ready? First you must forgive. Forgiveness will free you from the mental prison of torment. Next, stop living in the past or you will always be a victim of bitterness. Replaying the wrongs over and over will drag you deeper in a hole of self-pity.
Focus on where you’re at now in your life. Stay in the present. Take control and know that the change begins with you. Decide you no longer want to be a prisoner of the past. Shift your mindset and see yourself walking towards a future without stress….
Reality is, you must be tired of a lifestyle of constant sadness and pain. So, let go of bitterness. Needless to say, it won’ be easy. But, give it a go.
Develop a habit of thanksgiving
“If you’re not grateful about what you have now, what makes you think you will appreciate the things that you don’t have?” – London Mond quotes
“Ungrateful people forget what they are not grateful for.” – Ana Monnar
Hold on a minute. Why should you be thankful? Perhaps you have no job, no money, no man in your life, no friends, no car, no reason to wake up in the morning and the pity party list goes on…
But stop and think for a minute… You’re alive, aren’t you?
I’m going to share something with you… When I was a new single mother, poverty drove me to act, fast. My second daughter was a baby, we lived on benefits and I had no money. To make matters worse, the fridge and cupboards were permanently empty. But I didn’t stop there, cry and sit in self-pity. Survival mode kicked in. I had to find a way to feed all of us, pay the bills and rent.
And so, I got a job as a cleaner at the local town hall. I woke up extremely early in the mornings and left my eldest daughter to watch her baby sister. I rushed to work and cleaned for a couple of hours. That’s not all though. Pride had no place in my life. So, I turned to friends and family and asked for help. They gave me food and money to see us through.
Eventually, I enrolled on a return to employment course. Needless to say, I got a full-time job afterwards. So, you see, I took the necessary steps to change my story.
Even though life was tough at the time, I was grateful that I had my daughters. I was grateful that we had a roof over our heads. And I was grateful that we had friends and family to turn to. Most importantly, I was grateful that I was alive to look after my daughters. The fact is, not every child has a parent or parents to look after them.
That’s why I’m encouraging you to start a gratitude list. You can have a physical list or a mental list. The choice is yours.
Write down everything you’re thankful for. It could even be something as simple as being able to walk up the stairs – which we take for granted. You’ll be surprised at how your perspective about life will change when you see your list. It will create a boost of positivity.
My point is this, do whatever you have to do to turn your situation around. After you’ve made your gratitude list, what’s not on it that you would like to add?
Let’s get things underway and start the ball rolling. Here are a few things to help you…
Do you need a job, change or career, or want to start a business?
- Update your CV. Sign up with recruitment agencies. Read job adverts in the local newspapers or online.
- Enrol on a college course, evening studies or online learning (eCourse) to learn new skills. Or to add more knowledge so you’re confident to switch careers.
- What are you passionate about? Or which of your hobbies can you turn into a profitable business? Are you good at doing other people’s hair, enjoy writing, can cook well, like mentoring friends or teaching something?
Everyone has talents. Be grateful for yours. But don’t just sit on them. And remember, you can use your talents and skills to make money and also benefit others. Give something back. The more you give is the more you receive. And the more you give thanks for is the more you’ll get in return. Even if it’s inner peace, happiness and contentment.
Finally, life is precious. And you know what? If you want to enjoy it, you must try your best not to saturate your heart with toxic emotional clutter. Instead, pluck out any bitterness embedded in it. Deal with it by uprooting it from the roots. And develop a lifestyle of thankfulness.
Remember, your heart is a lifeline to your survival. Look after it and keep it clean and pure. Because I tell you what, a cluttered heart full of junk breeds a life of emotional torment. But, the good news is, you can start making changes today to free yourself from bitterness and create a daily gratitude list.
The last part of this series is about lack of love. That deserves an article by itself. So look out for it. You’ll discover the dangers of lack of love and the amazing benefits of love.
Over to you… How do you keep your heart clean? Ever created a gratitude list? Please share your thoughts below.
And share this article with family and friends so they can keep their hearts free from clutter.
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