cleaning tools

Image courtesy of scottchan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, this one is hard to write about. It hits home a little bit too accurately. My Higher Power led me to a story this morning about someone who’s friend helped her learn to put things in their proper place at the time she was done using them them rather than just setting  them down anywhere . The author reported practicing this advice helped her combat clutter in her house. Her friend’s specific advice was ‘”Don’t put it down; put it away”'(Neukrug, L.,  2012-10-01. Daily Guideposts 2013, Editors, Guideposts 2012-10-01, Kindle Locations 505-506, Guideposts Books. Kindle Edition).

That wasn’t all this daily meditation had to share. The author’s friend taught her to carry this bit of advice into her daily life in terms of not holding resentments or “grudges”  against anyone—–that resentments were “brain clutter” that needed to be put away in its proper place rather than allowed to clutter up one’s brain (Neukrug, L.,  ,2012-10-01. Daily Guideposts 2013, Editors, Guideposts 2012-10-01, Kindle Locations 514, Guideposts Books. Kindle Edition)  .

I must admit, trying to visualize an image of myself cleaning out my brain with a dust rag in one hand and ta dust mop in the other just doesn’t work for me…..traditional cleaning methods do not routinely work for me in my real life, and  they won’t in my imagined reality either.  Willingness is the essential missing ingredient for me when it comes to the concept of routinely cleaning up clutter.

Fortunately, for me, my participation in recovery groups has taught me I don’t have to use a broom, mop, dust rag, soap, wax, or polish to effectively remove “resentment clutter”.  I don’t even have to buy special cleaning agents for cleaning marble or stainless steel——which, I suppose, could symbolize the “stinkin’ thinkin'” or “hard-headed stubbornness” often encountered in the brains of recovering people. The tools I have been taught to use are very effective, and I have had to use them less and less over the years.

Most of what I have been taught has come from Alcoholics Anonymous’ “Big Book.” I have been taught to let go of resentments by daily praying for whomever I resent to be given the same things I ask God to give me. If I follow this advice, I have to determine what is really essential (what I need rather than what I want), ask it for myself, and then ask it for the person(s) I resent. I have learned to do this over and over again.  It sounds hypocritical, but once I make myself do this, by about the fourth or fifth day into praying this way I start to sincerely mean what I am asking. By the time I’ve done it for 2-6 weeks (longer for the really “tough” resentments) I find the resentment is gone and I have forgiven the person(s) I had resented.  I will remember the situation, but the strong resentment will be gone. Also, it is important during this “resentment clutter cleaning process” to examine my role in whatever situation is associated with the resentment so I can make amends if need be and try to not repeat similar mistakes in the future.

For those of you who are interested in searching this method,  I refer you to this quote: ‘ “If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent, you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love”’ (Wilson, B., Dr. Bob, ,2011-07-21, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (Kindle Locations 8574-8579),Kindle Edition).

My brain can get cluttered with resentments and/or worry that  can be effectively handled by carrying them in prayer to God. I am learning to recognize these problems sooner and, therefore,  to let go of them sooner in prayer. I am grateful that my spiritual path calls for progress and improvement rather than perfection!

Please comment and share your thoughts on how you deal with your own “brain clutter.” May God bless and keep you.

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