The best end of year house cleaning that you can do is in your heart. The heart is your inner house within your body. The heart is the seat of every emotional experience; love, joy, peace, anger, resentment, jealous, hatred, shame, guilt. These are powerful emotions and include the healthy and harmful emotions
One common thing about the harmful emotions is that they are directed toward people that hurt you, that violate your trust, your will, your greatness and cause you pain. It’s a deep emotional pain. This is how you know the impact of such emotions; you become emotionally aloof and disconnected. You dont want to be intimate with them and you remain detached. You may tolerate them but your heart is closed to them.
One writer has said the heart is like a bank account. You cannot withdraw when you havent deposited into the account. Some people’s accounts in your heart are constantly in the red. House cleaning of your heart is making a choice to get rid of the powerful harmful emotions.
As we end this year, consider a general house cleaning of your heart and get rid of the harmful emotions that have made a permanent residence in you.
Consider opening the doors to let the fresh air come in. You can give your heart a good healthy scrub.
Let me suggest how.
You will need to point out what hurts, name the pain. You will need a wet rag in warm soapy water called confess it, to deal with the built up resentment which is like a sticky mess on the floor of your heart. You will need a scrubbing brush called a good cry to let go, and disentangle the confusion of thinking you are punishing them by holding onto your pain. You will need a good broom called forgiveness to sweep away the cobwebs and every debris. You will have to drop the cherished but tired label of victim that you have worn proudly on your chest and replace it with that of victor. You will then need to spray some room deodorant called affirmation and praise. You choose to bless not to accuse. This is house cleaning like no other.
The new year offers a fresh start for all of us. It starts with awareness of that which needs to be cleaned out. Call it by name; anger, resentment, jealous, hatred, victim of abuse, bitterness and others. Name the reason why the emotion is there, if you know it. what is not confessed cannot be healed. Find a private space where you will be alone with your thoughts and practice speaking out to this person who hurt you. Tell them how they hurt you and the pain they caused you. Call a spade a spade after all you are alone with your thoughts. Allow yourself a good cry privately, tears cleanse the soul. Then choose to forgive the persons that caused you the pain. Say to their imaginary face ‘I forgive you’ and repeat it over and over, till it sounds true to you. You may need a repeat of this till it becomes a reality.
You have chosen to move from the pedestal of accuser of the brethren, to that one of a blesser of the brethren. Bless them in the privacy of your confession room, bless them without withholding anything back. Blessing is a sure way of confirming that you have forgiven. Forgive them for they dont know what they were doing to you. Forgive their ignorance. When you finally meet them you will have no reason to avoid them. Afterall, you can’t resent that which you bless.
Harmful emotions affect the way you relate with others. The damage is within your house, within your body and heart, not theirs. It takes courage to open those areas you have closed in your heart because of the pain attached to them.
But you can.
This simple exercise is called self house cleaning. It will help you to get rid of 2020 baggage. You owe it to yourself to travel light in 2021 and share your smile with the world. Excess baggage does not only steal your smile and laughter but it blurs your vision to the future. It also steals powerful networks that you need to unpack your vision and contribute your unique foot print to the world. Do this for your close relationships, in marriage, among siblings or even a work relationship.
Regular house cleaning promotes intimacy. Intimacy simply means ‘into me you see’. It calls for vulnerability. It’s not a one off event. Its a powerful habit that will transform you from a selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that life will not devote itself to making you happy. You will instead become a force of nature devoted to letting the light shine through your vulnerability and bring some warmth to the whole world.
I wish you an action packed 2021, with a regular house cleaning habit.
The Author is Mrs Dorothy Kisaka, Executive Director Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)