Many years ago, in a place not far away, lived a lovely little girl named Sally. Her most favourite place in the whole wide world was her bedroom. It was here that she played with her dolls, built kingdoms with her blocks and traveled to make believe places through her books. But the best part of being in her room came just before sleep when she would tip toe over to her window and gaze out at the moon and all the twinkling stars in the sky and make a wish. Then she would curl up in her big comfy bed where she would think thoughtful thoughts and dream dreamy dreams.
Sally would sometimes spend time all alone in her room just thinking….thinking about the fun she had that day at a friends party, how nice her mommy’s cookies tasted, how happy she felt when her daddy taught her to ride her bicycle, what great things she had learned that day at school. As she thought about these happy thoughts, she wondered how she could ever remember them all? That is when Sally had the greatest thought of all!
At the end of her room was a large wooden door that opened into an empty closet. The closet had lots and lots of shelves that went right from the floor to the ceiling. Sally could never decide what to put in there until now. She would make beautiful boxes to hold her special memories. So, Sally got right to work cutting and pasting, colouring and drawing then filling every box with a special memory. What a wonderful idea this was! Just making the boxes made Sally very, very happy.
“There,” Sally exclaimed with a broad smile as she placed the first box on the shelf, “now every time I open the closet I will be reminded of how happy I felt when I made that box.”
And so it was, Sally would make a beautifully decorated box representing a special day in her life then place it lovingly on a shelf in her closet. Every time she would open the closet door she would see all her boxes and smile to herself as she remembered the wonderful feelings each box contained.
The time went on, as time tends to do and Sally grew older as little girls do. She soon learned not all memories are happy ones but she decided she would keep these as well. However, when she felt angry she was in no mood and in too big of a hurry to decorate the boxes with bright colours and bows. Instead she would just open the door, shove the box inside not even caring where it went. Those times when Sally was sad, she thought she could hide those feelings in a big, plain brown box. This box too was just pushed inside the closet.
Every time she opened the closet door she would see all the dark and dreary undecorated boxes. Without realizing it, Sally soon began collecting all kinds of emotions and most of them were not happy ones until one day Sally could hardly shut the closet door. So she pushed and she shoved and she pushed some more until Sally heard the latch go click. She sighed a big sigh, “Ah, I am so glad that is over.” She decided right there and then that she would just walk away and never, ever as long as she lived would she ever open that closet door again…she would be just fine. “That way”, she told herself, “I will never remember all the bad memories and never have to feel lonely, sad, hurt or angry again. I will never look at those ugly boxes of negative memories any more and that is that!”
Then one night as Sally lay in her big comfy bed, just settling in to think thoughtful thoughts and dream dreamy dreams she heard a very strange sound. It was coming from her closet! What could it be? The big wooden door began to shimmy and shake, creak and vibrate as though it were coming alive. Slowly, Sally got up out of her big comfy bed and even more slowly made her way over to the closet door and even more slowly yet, placed her now shaking hand on the latch. It had been a very long time since Sally had put any memories in there. She thought it was better to forget the past that way she would never have to face the shadow side of her emotions.
Sally hesitated, what if she didn’t like what she saw? How would it make her feel? It was at that moment that Sally realized it had been a very long time since she had felt anything at all.
Maybe she could just go back to her bed. Yes, that was what she would do. It was better not to know what was inside that closet, easier not to feel emotions at all. Just as Sally was turning to go back to her big comfy bed the door burst open and banged loudly as it swung back and hit her bedroom wall. Boxes came pouring out like a mighty flood; big boxes, small boxes, gray, black and brown boxes. As each one fell, its lid came flying off spilling emotions everywhere and in the middle of all this chaos sat Sally. All those plane, ugly boxes that she had allowed to fill her closet now were strewn around her and all over her bedroom floor.
Sally began to cry. Everywhere she looked were open boxes displaying negative emotions. All the sadness, loneliness, bitterness, hurt feelings and anger was pile high around her, almost smothering her. Memories came flooding back.
Then, out of her despair, Sally looked up and saw high up on a closet shelf; way back in the corner were some beautifully decorated boxes. Pushing the now empty boxes away from her, Sally got up and brought down one of these colourful boxes. When she opened it the emotion of feeling loved flowed over and through her like a soft summer’s breeze. She closed her eyes then took a long, slow, deep breath in and breathed in this feeling. As she did, Sally realized that for a long time she had chosen to see only the dark and ugly boxes and by doing so had forgotten all about her beautiful memory boxes; the ones filled with love, hope and joy.
Sally had made all these boxes herself, every last one of them. She was the one who decided what memories to keep, what box they would go in and where it would be placed in her closet. Rather than sorting out her closet and getting rid of some boxes over the years Sally had decided just to stack, shove, push and cram all these boxes into her closet until one day, the closet couldn’t hold anymore.
Now Sally had another choice to make and this too would be all up to her. What was she going to keep and what would she throw away? If she just threw everything back in the closet and forced the door closed she knew it would only be a matter of time before it would explode again. The other choice was to go through each box and decide what to keep, what to throw away or what to re-do. She could take the dark boxes and change them into colourful ones or just let them go. The closet could be full of darkness or colour it was all up to Sally. This would be her choice to make and only she could do it. What do you think she will do?
Look at this story with the closet being your subconscious mind where all your memories are stored from this lifetime and previous lives. As these memories are tucked away for safe keeping you decide what emotion you attach to each and every one so when a similar scenario happens again, you will have already programmed yourself on how to respond. All the boxes in the closet are these memories and emotions. You are the only one who decides what and where these boxes are kept. Do you hold onto negative thoughts, triggering even more negative responses today? Are these negative memories the ones you hold onto and constantly remember and draw from?
Just like Sally, you may decide to just forget about all this, shut the door to your mind and not deal with any of it perhaps to the point of not allowing positive energy, events and people into your life just so you don’t have to feel and deal with anything anymore. Guess what? Just like the closet door, this built up stress will show itself in one form or another at anytime spilling itself out in front of you where you will have to do something about it. If you are able to tuck it away again it will undoubtedly irrupt even more violently than before until you must do something. Stress left unattended to will always manifest in physical, emotional or spiritual dis-ease.
Only you can decide how you feel and how you will react to any given circumstance. Your response can be changed if you are willing to do the re-programming in other words, take time to redecorate your boxes. In order to have optimal health, we all need to clean out our closet, dispose of the negatives such as hatred, anger, guilt, remorse and regrets and allow ourselves to truly forgive others and ourselves. By doing so, we are able to start anew and make room for the positive experiences, love and compassion of others and ourselves. It isn’t always an easy job and may even feel overwhelming at first. The first step may be to swallow your pride and ask for help, begin to meditate in order to find out who you are and try new ways of self-empowerment. However, once the closet is cleaned, sorted and organized, don’t stop there! Oh no! Continue to be ever mindful of your thoughts and you will be amazed at how wonderful your life can be.