The other day, I changed the lightbulbs in the bathroom, but I forgot to throw away the old ones.  The next morning, I walked into the bathroom and saw the new lights shining. Above them sat the old light bulbs dangerously perched on a narrow ledge above the mirror.  I immediately threw them away.

 When I put them in the trash, I had a deep epiphany: I need to take out my trash.

It is a fitting realization for the new year. As the new year begins, it is important to clear out all the unnecessary trash of the previous year. 

In life, guaranteed, not everything will be warm and peachy. Things happen that cause pain, fear, anger, and any number of other negative feelings. But do we make the effort and take the time to shift through what we should keep and what we should throw out? 

I know many of us run off to the next thing on our to do list, while trying to cover the pain, hide the anger, or drown out our fears so that on the surface we look alright.

I realized, even though I had replaced the lightbulb and everything seemed fine, I did not throw away the old bulbs.  They could have fallen on one of my children when they opened the mirror to get a brush or shattered and pierced their feet.  

Similarly, if I didn’t take time to process and throw away my inner trash, bad habits, negative emotions, reactions triggered by bad experiences, it could come out and inadvertently hurt the people that I love. What is more, the clutter would not leave room for new opportunities.

So, at the start of each year, and periodically during the year, it is good to do an inner “clean up” and even an occasional “deep clean” to make sure there aren’t things left in the corners.

Mothers, we are the heart of the family. We have the power to create a healthy, happy, thriving environment for our family.  It has been scientifically and medically shown that a mother’s emotional state during pregnancy has a lasting impact on her child.  Anger, depression, and other negative emotions release toxins that can adversely affect the child. On the flip side, a peaceful, confident mother provides nutrients that support the child through its first months.  How can we afford to harbor anger, resentment, hate, and fear?

Life is not easy, life is not always fair. And it is not always easy to digest every experience.  But, we have an incredible agency. While we cannot change what others say or do, we can control how we respond to the situation. Dr. Moon has wisely counseled us to keep close the “doors of arrogance and self-pity” as they are two sides of the same coin of selfishness. In this way, we can stay focused on God and His ideals, we can live a life of gratitude and humility that surrounds our family with love, peace, and truth.  

So, let’s make sure that we take out the trash. Process our past experiences with gratitude for life’s lessons and seek out humility to look to God to help digest difficult circumstances.

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