When we got in the car yesterday, one of the boys exclaimed “Eww! It stinks in here!” while reaching frantically for the button to roll down his window. He couldn’t get it down fast enough to stick his head out and dramatically gasp for air. I belly laughed, reminding him that I’ve been saying that same thing all summer and that he was a little late noticing.
What smells so bad?!
I’m not sure honey. Could be the 5 stinky socks, the half eaten yogurt under the back seat, the trash collection, or the mud from the creek on the floor mats. Maybe it’s the aroma of them all mixing together. We should probably clean the car out this weekend. What do you think?
This quickly turned into a little chat about how the junk in our lives can pile up before we notice it.
One sweaty sock seems like no big deal. One yogurt cup on the floorboard won’t make a difference. A banana peel and apple core in the side pocket? Those are just sweet-smelling fruit. Mud and water from the creek will surely dry in no time. Not to mention the yarn tied in such tight knots around the headrest you can’t even get scissors in there to cut them off. It’s a pretty decoration. . . until it’s not anymore.
In the moment, it seems like no big deal.
Surely nothing that bad could possibly come from this. But the “innocent” trash of your life left behind, undealt with, will inevitably begin to smell. Other people may notice before you do. They may point it out, or they may not. But sooner or later it will catch up with you and leave you scrambling for the window, gasping for air.
That unfinished conversation? Make a point to finish it.
The apology left unsaid? It’s not too late. Make it right.
The hurt and bitterness that’s eating you up inside? Find a therapist. You absolutely must get free of it.
That constant craving for more stuff? Practice more generosity.
The little voice that constantly reminds you you’re not enough? Drown out that negative noise with truth and love.
It’s all the little things piling up, day after day.
As you go about your life today, this week, this year. . . remember my smelly car. Think about how much easier it is to throw away the trash each day instead of letting it pile up for later. No guilt trip. No shame. We’re all human together and life is moving fast. Perfect isn’t real, so don’t even think about that.
But incrementally better?
That’s a really good thing. It’s a daily intention to clean out the trash that will become a sweet aroma. Over time, it will replace the stench of all the trash from the past. Little by little, take out the trash.
You can do that.
to more love,
P.S. What are some of the ways you practice taking out the trash in your daily life? I want to hear!
We’re going to practice a little trash-takin’ at our next GNO with some Laughter Yoga! (You should join us.)