Around our house, Wednesday night is the night we take out the trash. The little cans are emptied, the kitchen bag pulled and tied shut, and they all are thrown in our wheeling little dumpster. We also condense the recycle bins and bring them down to the curb as well. We have to do it at night because the trash men normally come before either of us up and moving.
Over the last few years, we have become increasingly focused on recycling and reusing as we strive to reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. We put a lot of thought into what goes into the trash, what goes into the recycle bin, and what we can reuse somewhere or for something else. When we throw something out, we are very clear on what and why it is being thrown out.
In my own journey and as I have been journeying with others, I have come to realize that there are things in our personal lives that need to be thrown out. Unfortunately, there is not a trash pick up for beliefs about self and others that need to be disposed of and removed from our psyche. This weekend, I thought I would run an informal experiment and count how many times one of my Skype, phone, Facebook, or in person friends said anything that was self-judgmental. I defined self-judgment by anytime one of them talked about how they were failing to meet their own expectations or when they felt they did not meet someone else’s expectations. Sadly, of the 93 people I interacted with in one of these four manners, 87% of them a self-judgmental statement at least once in our conversation. While I would like to say I was not part of that 87%, I was because while I did not say anything aloud or openly share it with anyone, it was still in my head.
These lies, or what don Miguel Ruiz calls parasites, need to be removed from our belief system and thrown away. We judge ourselves for so many reasons, but the one commonality is that we were all saying and thinking we did not live up to a standard, which we had self-imposed upon ourselves and then made into a belief. These lies did not originate with us. We heard them somewhere and then internalized them and agreed to them. Then every time we heard it again, we internalized it again and reinforced our sense of agreement with it, even if at some level we knew it was a lie.
Once we become aware of the lies, we are telling ourselves, it is important to take the time to reflect on where we learned it, from whom, and why. Not why did they try to teach it to us, but why did we choose to believe it. When we realize why we chose to internalize it at the time, it becomes easier for us to remove it and replace it with a truth that is about love and honesty about who we are now. This process is not about placing blame, but about cleansing and healing. So today, I invite you to join me in taking out the trash in our lives. There is no need to wait for a specific trash pick up day. Any day is the day to remove the trash from your life.