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The Gift You Give Yourself: Guest Post

I cleaned out our attic this year.

This year, when I had a lot more time inside our home, I finally was able to slow down enough to focus on chores I’ve been putting off.
I ended up with more than 30 large trash bags full of stuff I couldn’t see the reason to save anymore. I was finally able to let go of things I’ve held onto for a long time. And it felt good to let it all go.

I’ve discovered another way I’m a pack rat during this year. I store hurts. If someone has caused me pain, I tend to save each one to carefully pack away. Even though I try to get rid of the pain from time to time, I always end up putting it back in storage where I know I’ll find it when I need it. Each time I’m dealt a new blow, it’s not enough just to deal with that particular hurt. No, I find that I need to go back, pull out all the old hurts and dust them off, just so I can feel the pain all over again. And even though every single one still hurts, it somehow makes the new pain easier to accept, dulling the shock a bit.

It took me several months to clean out the attic. And as I worked, I had to acknowledge that all the stuff was put there by me. Every single thing.  I touched it all before making decisions about what to do with it, wondering what had caused me to hang onto it. It’s truly amazing the minutia I’m capable of when it comes to saving memories. It seems I’m as much a stickler for detail when it comes to careless words sent my way.

I think about Jesus. He went to the cross for me. And for you. He was perfect. He didn’t sin. But He chose to have every pain everyone has ever felt poured out on Him. I can’t imagine what that was like. None of us can. I know the pain I carry around can’t compare. I am reminded that Jesus took my pain on that cross and tells me that if I will just cast my cares on Him, I don’t have to suffer anymore.

As I did in my attic, where all that useless stuff was hiding behind a closed door, I have to take the first step.

Our attic is so much bigger than I remember. I can move around without fear of bumping into anything now. Getting rid of the clutter truly was the right decision. Imagine how my thought life would be if I cleared out the ugliness, leaving room for only the beauty in my life.

-Sandy Brennan
[a version of this article previously published on]

North Carolina author Sandy Brannan teaches English when she’s not spending time with her grandchildren. She loves reading, writing, and making memories with her family. Sandy, a contributing writer at Her View From Home, has four novels currently available on Amazon You can read the rest of her work on her blog as well as on social media at and at . 

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Featured Photo by Peter Herrmann on Unsplash

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