Today I had to do some emotional house cleaning. Sometimes when you hold onto something, it can clutter your house and your head. I’m holding my son’s hiking boots he left under the dining room table just about a year ago when he kicked them off at his seat after a camping trip.
Those boots have been in the same spot for a year. I know they won’t fit. I know to some, they might just be a pair of hiking boots too small for a child that has grown. I’m proud that those hiking boots got a lot of miles and fun in the outdoors with his disabled mom. We have a mutual love for the outdoors.
My dining room has become a cluttered mess over the past year to cover up those boots. I didn’t want to move them or see them as somehow keeping them there would make those same small feet return with excitement to put them on to go outside.
So at the recommendation of a friend, these boots will become flower pots to sit with my son and metaphorically watch him grow for now.
Emotional house cleaning doesn’t mean you remove someone special from your heart. It simply means you make space for new growth in whatever capacity that goes, and I’m certainly blessed that much has come and have things to be hopeful about for the future. Creating a future also means grieving what isn’t there.
Sad is ok. It’s ok to wail and sob over something that hurts. It’s not depression. It’s real feelings that are just as valid as any other.
A psychologist once told me to “feel all your feelings”, which has probably been the most healing advice I ever embraced for someone who couldn’t feel much for so long. Am I ok? Absolutely. Am I smiley? Not so much today, but I am here, tolerating what has happened, appreciating that pain represented by a little boys boots will grow into something beautiful.