I opened my refrigerator the other day, and was slapped in the face with a terrible smell. The smell was strong enough that it had to be dealt with immediately as it overpowered the other, more engaging smells being created in the kitchen.
But not to panic, this is the routine way our refrigerator communicates to us that it’s time for a purging.
The problem this time was, after clearing out the regular culprits of opened plates of food that are waiting to be “finished later” and passed due leftovers…it still stank…and BAD.
I went through every shelf and drawer, cleaned things out, and scrubbed it with bleach. Still no change. Obviously, there was something in there I was missing, something I didn’t suspect!
This time I had to look deeper. I had to look through things I had passed over previously because it didn’t seem logical or probable. I found the culprit. It was my little carton of mushrooms, which looked perfectly fine until further examination. I wanted those mushrooms. I had plans for those mushrooms. Perhaps I had skipped over them because subconsciously they were still wanted and part of my future cooking endeavors. Perhaps I had passed them by to avoid the guilt I would feel because of the wasted money. This brought me to the unfortunate place where I had to make a decision to throw something out which I wanted, and felt obligated to keep… but could no longer use.
I chose to get rid of the mushrooms and with that, surrender in my heart the wasted money as well as my future dreams of a sautéed mushroom omelet or beef stroganoff.
The fact that there would undoubtedly be room in the future for new mushrooms and new possibilities of mushroom omelets or stroganoff wasn’t really the issue. The issue was, I wasn’t ready to let the mushrooms go and in that small trip from the refrigerator to the garbage…I grieved.
In life I think we often don’t want to look deeper into the things that are creating the stink because in our subconscious mind, it might be something we still want to keep or something we feel ashamed to address. It might be easy to let go of the obvious things, that no longer have life in them because at least we can feel good about ourselves that we tried. Trust me, I tried to use this reasoning with my refrigerator!
“Why do you still stink?”
“I spent a long time cleaning you out, what is wrong with you?”
“What more do you want from me?!”
Her answer was, “You didn’t clean everything and I won’t stop stinking until you do.”
The responsibility was back on me.
Don’t be afraid to look. The truth was, I really didn’t want the rotten mushrooms stinking things up. The sacrifice and addressing the shame was worth the reward, even if it wasn’t the sacrifice I was hoping for.
The rotten smells in our life are telling us it’s time to get rid of something. When we get that waft of bad feelings that you are living in a toxic environment, do the sleuthing you need to figure out the unhealthy patterns, situations, core beliefs, or thought processes you need to throw in the garbage.
I recently had a familiar stench show up in my life. I could feel it overpowering the other good things in my life. The problem was it really wasn’t the usual stench that has, in the past, been responsible for polluting the aroma of my life. It was something different. I let myself dig a little deeper and discovered that I carried a belief with me that I had to always be “earning my keep” so that I wasn’t a burden on those around me. At first glance, I knew this was something I wasn’t sure if I was ready to give up. If I let that go, what was going to motivate me to move forward? What if others had the same belief and my value to them was diminished if I wasn’t keeping up? The pain this stench was bringing wasn’t worth the reward. I was put in a position to decide it was time to let the dream go that I would win at “earning my keep”. I had to look for my feeling of security from somewhere else. In the end, I had to let my security and value be in my intrinsic value instead of striving to be worthy.
What you are hoping to get from the “stinky” things in life can come to you in healthier ways. This morning I went out to breakfast with my husband and got my mushroom omelet…and this one I didn’t have to make.