Whats in the Basement?

base“Emma, what do you want me to do with the checkered sofa that Mrs. Harris gave to us?”

“Honestly Jim, I haven’t a clue.  It doesn’t match anything and it is so awkward and bulky.   I guess for now, we’ll just put it in the basement and deal with it later.”

Deal with it later…

“Put it in the basement and deal with it later.” So how often have I said that?……. far too often.

Presently I do not have a basement but I do have a garage which serves more as an obstacle course then a place to park my car.

I don’t know how many times I have bumped, stumped, banged a toe, a knee, an elbow, or my head on something that protrudes from a shelf or from something that clutters the floor.

You would think that the little pangs of pain that I experience each time I bumped or stumped would teach me a lesson, but I just keep packing “stuff” away.

I mean, really, what am I thinking?  That it’s just going to go away by itself, or that storage space is never going to run out?

Reality check

The existence of those thoughts, going away by itself or never running out of storage space, only resides on shows like “I Dream of Jeanie” or in fairy tales with wand waving fairies sprinkling stardust in the air.

Honestly, why am I storing it?  I must not need it, or I would have put it in a place that I could make use of it rather than storing it in a place where it’s gathering dust, taking up space, and spotting my shins with nice little shades of blue!

Eliminating the bruises

So I guess to eliminate the bruises, means I need to eliminate the “stuff.”

I’m not going to kid you, it’s going to take energy, lots of energy.  After all it took energy to store it, dodge it, and manage it, so why shouldn’t it take energy to clear it?

Emotional “stuff” isn’t too much different

WICAOUWZK1CAYHWZ00CAA3EA7XCAII9U1SCAJ65V4OCAWG9S40CAXYPEA4CAYD63NYCAZOFETWCAIZE838CA92OLJTCAURZH34CA6PWXLTCAM9343TCAUVMS3OCAV0Q76HCA33VHV3CADJGKD0CAOUH3H4I couldn’t help but think that I often treat my emotional “stuff” such as, pain, anger, and strife in the same manner.

I stuff them down into the basement of my mind, never really addressing them, just storing, dodging, and managing.

Then I wait for the emotional moment to pass and hoping it will “magically” go away.

I then go on cruise control thinking that I’ve gotten over it only to find myself somewhere down the road ” looping,” or reliving the experience.  And it never fails that when I loop… I grumble.

The loop of grumbling

Recently I found myself in just one of those “loops.”

I was sharing with a friend some transgressions that had befallen me in the past  and as I unloaded my frustrations into her kind and listening ears, it began to dawn on me that I hadn’t gotten over it.  The “stuff” had not been resolved and I was still harboring anger and resentment.  Meaning I had not forgiven.

Basement of my mind

I then realized that I needed to clean out the basement of my mind.  As long as the “stuff” remained unforgiven, and unreconciled, I would continue to stumble over it, bump into it and create bruises of bitterness on my heart.

Reality check:  Eliminating the bruises of bitterness

Just like cleaning out a basement or garage, this too is going to take energy.

It will be a mental workout and a yielding to God as I rely on Him to help me forgive those who caused the pain.

The results will be rewarding as bitterness releases its control on me and I begin to experience peace and freedom for past pains.

His barometer

One day I will be able, with God’s help, to  address the “stuff” more readily so that it never makes it to the basement of my mind.

But until that day arrives I will use the “loop” as His barometer to let me know it’s time for spring cleaning, no matter what time of year it is.

  • Proverbs 17:22   A Cheerful heart is like good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Now let me go find some of that good cheer and tackle my junk filled garage!



8 thoughts on “Whats in the Basement?

  1. My basement got so full I really didn`t have any room left.
    And like Ang, things I was storing were caused by other people. I also looped until one day I found myself angry and mean. Something had to be done so that trash was removed from my mind and over the years I have been a much nicer person to be around. I am on the down hill of my life and why waste time over something that only brings you pain and disapointment.
    I find I am spending happy times with my children and grandchildren. My husband has helped me clean out the clutter that tries to fog up my being able to see clearly. So throw out the clutter it is not worth keeping. Store the things that is worth while. Cherish your love ones


  2. As I sat here and pondered this I kept thinking, our “attic” got cleaned out because of a big problem – ceiling falling down. And yet, it was fixable. With God we can clean our “attic or basement” and be fixable. Like our ceiling, it is not always fun and is hard work, but with God, we can do ANYTHING!


  3. Yes, i have a mental basement too. I still loop, and i feel that instead of bruising i have scars. Scars that are still healing. However i finally believe i may be getting to a point where im becoming balanced and allowing myself to be liberated. I understand now that i am not responsible for people’s actions outside of my own, and if someone is a “difficult” person to bare, that its not my fault. Being more realistic in mindset and finally being ascertive allows the freedom i have been so desperatly searching for. None the less it isn’t easy, and it takes a huge amount of energy and self will power. Breaking the ‘mind’ and ’emotional’ habits are harder to do than we think. Its nice to know that im not alone in my ‘basement storing’ and that i can overcome them when i see my own loops.


  4. Looking back to my last comment. I would like to add, create in me a clean heart AND a clean basement!!! The couch is still in the basement. The van broke down. The truck broke down months ago. The big things seem to keep piling up. Could this be God’s way of telling us to let go? I like what Mark said. “Sometimes it is just time for a trip to the dump to get rid of the big ugly couch”, LOL Also what Carol said. “Sometimes it takes a while but it is such a relief when it’s gone.” Thanks guys! Please pray for us. We need relief!


  5. Baggage just eats away at you–getting rid of it is so healthful!! Sometimes it takes awhile but it is such a relief when it’s gone.

    P.S. When you clean out the garage and you put it somewhere else–remember where you put it! I put a list in a real safe place and could not find it yesterday!


  6. It’s not easy cleaning out the basement of the mind.
    II Corinthians 10:5 says to take every thought captive. If I could always do that successfully I could have a much better guard of what gets stored away. Some thoughts just seem so ingrained, that no matter how hard I try to evict them, they come back to trip me up, and, to use your analogy, bruise me. Sometimes it is just time for a trip to the dump to get rid of the big ugly couch, but also the small stuff that hides in the corners.


  7. Did you look in my basement? LOL, we just put a couch in there because we needed the space for a bedroom. Anybody need one? I wish the “stuff” didn’t end up there.
    Interesting point about the “stuff” we sometime keep bottled up inside us like a couch tucked away in the basement. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned. Just like a couch in the basement serves no purpose. We should not hold things in us that serve no purpose. It’s true the “stuff” just gets in the way. Lord, create in me a clean heart…Ps 51:10 Amen!


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