9- Be Green: Recycle Your Emotional Garbage

According to the Bhajavat Purana, righteous living, or life in a dharmic path, has 4 aspects:

Austerity (tap); Purity (shauch); Compassion (daya); Truthfulness (satya)

I keep landing on the satya, for I feel that self truth must come before truly experiencing compassion for your fellow being. Compassion requires one to be humble.

In order to deal with our own garbage, we need to be brutally honest with ourselves. That doesn’t mean beat yourself up over your mistakes, but rather fall out of the victim role and be accountable for your power to affect the world we live in. I experienced a moment tonight of really having to swallow my pride.

My daughter and I are in counseling together. This is no ordinary counseling. It’s a part-time job, but it’s worth it. I originally put just my daughter in the program, but then I realized I needed to be in it too. If I am not dealing with my garbage, then I would only be perpetuating her pain and hindering her healing.

One aspect of my healing is being truthful about what I have done or said that may have hurt my daughter, as well as how I have hurt myself. The second part of this is forgiveness of myself. In order to forgive yourself, you have to first be honest about what you have done or said that has caused pain to yourself or others. Until we are able to forgive ourselves for these acts, we can not have full compassion for others. How can we forgive someone for an act that we have committed but not forgiven ourselves for?

Through this program, I am dealing with garbage from my past, all the way back to my childhood, seeing how it has affected my life, my relationships, the way I relate to my daughter and so much more. That garbage stays with us. It is a part of us, like it or not. What has happened to us is a part of our make-up. What we do with it is what determines the end product.

So, rather than stuff the garbage under the rug until it rots and makes you and your environment toxic, recycle your garbage. That’s right, be emotionally green.

We make compost to fertilize our gardens, and we use manure to do the same. It is common knowledge that breaking down the old creates fertile ground for something beautiful and nourishing to grow. Why would it be any different with our emotional being?

Identify each piece of garbage for what it is. Pick each piece apart and determine how each individual aspect can be recycled. The older the garbage, the more painful this will be. It’s going to be dirty, and it’s going to stink. You will have a harder time figuring out what each piece is made of and where everything goes after all of those years of decay. It’s worth the work.

Once we have dived into our own emotional dumpster and looked our garbage in the face, identified it and turned the lessons learned into light and love, we reach a deeper level of compassion.

Alright, fellow gardeners. Let’s start with just one piece at a time. In a short while, you will have a beautiful garden blossoming in your heart.