The word seems simple enough, but it’s meaning can run deeper. It is a place where things are displayed, but also where they are placed to be forgotten.
You know what I am talking about. Don’t act like you don’t have a shelf somewhere in your house where you place the “stuff” you just can’t get rid of.
The figurine your first boyfriend gave you. All your college notebooks. The knick knack you bought on vacation. The book you might read one day. The book you have read, but just aren’t ready to get rid of yet. A family picture. To the untrained eye, they would all appear worthless. However, to you, priceless treasures.
Shelves are also where we put “stuff” we don’t want to deal with, or we are just not sure what to do with .
The instruction manual to your coffee pot. A jar full of buttons. An old road map. The guide book from your trip to Graceland in 1994. Stuff that you will probably never touch or need again, but again… you just can’t part with.
Our minds have shelves too. Several times a day we “shelf” ideas for future reference or for when we need them. Sometimes we even put our dreams or desires on the shelf because we are told either by a loved one, or ourselves, that now is not the “right” time for them. So we place our them on our mental shelf.
To collect dust.
To be forgotten.
If we are lucky, we will not forget. We will go to the shelf and retrieve our dream, holding it tight to our heart. This time we vow not to let go.
My life has been consumed with this for the last few months. I have had dreams and desires that have been placed on my mental shelf for YEARS. I have come to realize that if I don’t take them off the shelf, they will be ruined by the dust and unrecognizable before long.
It can be difficult to clean our mental shelves. Our loved ones may, or may not, understand, and may even think we have lost our minds. But gradually the transformation is undeniable, and the change within yourself is sweet and freeing.
Slowly and surely I am taking my dreams off the shelf.
I am already 3/4 of the way to my goal to hike 100 miles in the Smokies.
I am finally taking that vacation I put off for 25 years.
I am meeting new friends and branching out of my small familiar circle of comfort.
and my biggest…..
I am fulfilling my dream to hike the Appalachian Trail.
I know I talk about it constantly, but it can’t be helped. The beauty in cleaning off my mental shelf is so exhilarating, that I can’t help but share it!
What things have you shelved? What have you told yourself you can’t do? What desires are laying there collecting dust?
It’s Spring! Now is the time to start cleaning off the shelf!