A few days ago, I noticed a strange smell coming from inside my refrigerator. I immediately tossed out any “questionable” take out containers and unidentifiable liquids hiding in containers. Then I went on with my day not giving it any more thought.
The next morning as I was heading out the door, I noticed the same smell when I grabbed a bottle of water. I didn’t have time to stop, but was harshly reminded when I returned home later and went to take some food out for dinner. This time, all containers were checked and any old food was discarded. I even looked through the freezer, but found nothing that needed my attention. I took out the trash, and then I went to bed feeling very accomplished.
But the following day, the smell was back! I didn’t know what else to do so I decided that everything had to come out. The entire refrigerator was then washed down, jars and bottles wiped off, and storage bins soaked and scrubbed. In the process, I began checking expiration dates on condiments and packed goods. I must say, I was quite surprised at my findings. I organized the endless supply of tiny packages that usually come home from restaurants and just get added to the bag of ketchup, sauces and extra straws. I checked all around the refrigerator, vacuuming underneath before I replaced its contents. Then I sat down to rest and I found myself staring at the trash bags that had just been filled.
Oftentimes we are too busy to really look for the root of the problem. We ignore it, look past it, cover it up, and perhaps even bury it. But we don’t take the time to address the real issue. And when we don’t, the problem begins to fester- like a smell you’re not sure about lurking in the refrigerator! But when we roll up our sleeves and do the work, we can get to the heart of the matter and root out the intruder that’s keeping us from the freshness of life.
So, what keeps us from getting to the root? It could be our guilt for letting the problem spin out of control. It could be our insecurities convincing us that we can’t fix it. It could also be our mishandling of priorities, spending time on things of lesser importance. Ultimately, however, it is our fear of not knowing what we will find. And until the problem BECOMES a problem, we’ll completely avoid it or pretend as if there’s nothing wrong. But once the issue disturbs our peace, we will put everything aside to tackle it head on! One of the things I observed is that I don’t make enough time to cook. I also noticed my lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with an abundance of sugar. I make no argument for the sugary drinks, cookie dough and chocolate chips. I won’t even discuss the freezer! Although I’m rarely home long enough to cook or eat, I KNOW that I could do so much better with my food choices. And I recognize that I purposely stay away from home (but that’s another story for another week!).
I encourage you this week to do a “sniff test”. Try to identify what’s not right, then sit down and try to figure out the WHY. The solution will require your time, energy and attention to detail. You might get a little dirty. You may have to crack a window and reorganize your space. You’ll have to remove some things that have been lying around for too long. And possibly, you’ll have to add things that are healthier and more beneficial for your life. But in the end, the air will be clear of all hazardous toxins. And you will finally be able to breathe deeply, knowing that you’ve conquered the giant that was invading your space!