Thursday, January 6, 2011

Deep Cleaning

So we're deep cleaning our house right now. Trying to make the closets into usable storage spaces instead of frightening doors to never open. Trying to let go of those things that are too big, too small, outgrown, or just not utilized enough. Trying to recover from the onslaught of new stuff that happens when you have generous relatives at this time of year. And I have noticed a few things about deep cleaning.

1. Deep cleaning makes a mess. In order to really know what we have and what we're getting rid of, we have to pull everything out, spread everything around, kick up the dust.

2. Deep cleaning is profoundly freeing. There is a small part of my soul that is just happier when I can easily open a closet, when a bookshelf isn't full to overflowing, when the toys have a designated home.

Deep Cleaning our Mental Closets

There are conversations going on all over the web right now about how depression is on the rise and the use of therapy is on the decline. There are many reasons given for this, including the time, energy, and effort that clients need to put forth in order for therapy to be beneficial.

That got me thinking. In many cases, good therapy is an invitation to do some deep cleaning of our internal lives. We pull out all of our outgrown coping strategies, dusty thought habits, and those untidy, painful emotions that we carefully buried under food, or work or Facebook or our personal denial mechanism of choice.

I don't know about you, but for me, deep cleaning of any variety is a team sport. If I'm on my own, I'm likely to just shut the closet door quickly--or distract myself from my emotional hurt. The team approach, the creation of a supportive, empathetic relationship is at the heart of therapy.

Are there any mental closets that you're afraid to open? Any stacks of emotional boxes waiting for an opportunity to bash you on the head? If so, I'm inviting you to reach out. Put together your "deep cleaning" team. Find a support group, connect on line, make the call that you've been putting off to investigate therapy. Share a comment below as a way to get it rolling!