Sorting Emotional Laundry

By: Sibyl Mclendon

This week has been a real roller coaster at my house. A lot of emotional dirty laundry is piling up at my door. As much as I would like to not answer it, that isn't realistic. Avoidance of troubles is not the answer. I long ago learned that it you let that stuff pile up, soon you won't be able to get out of the house anymore.

So, when I feel as if I am trying to stand up on a teeter-totter, the trick is in the balance. Here, I am talking about my Hozho. This means maintaining balance and harmony no matter what. It is a Navajo word and concept; I am one half Navajo. I have to sort through that baggage; one pile is mine, another my son's, yet another belongs to my husband, and some even belongs to clients of my website design business. There is a small pile that belongs to friends, and even one over in the corner that is unidentifiable!

So now what? After doing the sorting (which is quite difficult, really), then I have to realize that the only pile I can do anything about is the one that belongs to me.

If I attempt to walk around carrying all those dirty clothes, it is going to break my back. I am only going to get angry, resentful and negative if I attempt to clean up everybody else's stuff. Some of them don't even want their stuff cleaned up. I also long ago learned that some people cling to trouble like a teddy bear.

Trouble at the door should be like a democratic household: everyone has to clean up their own stuff! If I spend all my time trying to clean up after everyone I come in contact with, I will never have time or energy for anything else. I certainly won't have the energy to take care of my own stuff. This doesn't mean that I am not supportive of the others. It doesn't mean that I just turn my back on them. It does mean, to me, that I can be supportive without taking on the problems of others. It means that I recognize that I can't make anyone else do anything, and few people are looking for someone to try and control them anyway. I can love them without making their pain a part of me.

The Apaches have a thing called a "burden basket". It is a conical-shaped basket that is carried on the back. I have always loved that name: burden basket. I really don't want to carry other people's burdens around on my back. The next time that trouble comes to your doorArticle Submission, take some time and sort it out. Don't add things to your burden basket that don't belong to you. Lighten your load!

Motivation
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