As explained in Part I, for the purpose of this article, clutter is described as the frequent presence of memories of bad experiences such as failures, loss of something or someone which has left you broken and scared, disappointments, fear and anxiety and toxic environments.
Have you ever been at a place in your life when you were making the effort to replace your negative thoughts with uplifting thoughts and your family, friends or co-workers saw it necessary to stir up memories that accomplished the opposite? Toxic environments can be created by just any circle of association or groups, many times it is unintentional.
Consider Frank and Lisa once more. Frank finally decides to move on; he now practices Recognition, Dismissal and Replacing of negative thoughts with positive ones. It is not easy however. Lisa is often seen crying as she grieves over her loss. It has been now over three years but it has been difficult for her to move on. Frank’s closest co-workers would noticeably avoid any discussion relating to babies or pregnancy or any other related topic, once he is around or appears on the scene. They would apologize unnecessarily making Frank feel uncomfortable. Frank’s Mom would constantly warn him about getting pregnant again as she was scared that his misfortune could strike a second time.
All three sides of this scenario helps to create an environment that is not conducive to building a healthy mind. Instead, the behaviour of his family makes it difficult for Frank to let go. Frank would have no choice but to clearly communicate his concerns to his family. Here we take the steps of Acknowledge, Dismiss and Replace, to another level.
As difficult it may be to admit, Frank acknowledges that his family and co-workers are the greatest contributors to his inability to let go and move on. He arranges to meet with them and tells them exactly how he feels. He then forgives them and seeks to put it behind him, expecting to see a difference. Moving forward Frank begins to positively contribute to conversations with his wife, his family and co-workers by speaking words of affirmation and faith. He further supports his positive words with action. Frank begins to focus more on enjoying the company of his wife, suggesting fun things to do together to help her focus more on living.
It takes effort but in order for us to climb out of that ditch we must be determined and willing to do what it takes. It is imperative that we seek to place ourselves in a safe space where we could begin to blossom again and bear fruit.
I must hasten to add that sometimes it is not that easy to address the negativity that is corrupting our environment. Many times we have to resort to prayer and fasting, counselling and therapy. It is important however to do what it takes to ensure you are healthy.
Don’t let your negative experiences be the end of your joy, hope and living.