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Trash Day and Counseling

Until about five years ago, I’d never paid attention to recycling. Then I decide to pay the extra $5 a month for a colossal green bin. My neighbors and I do the trash stroll to the curb each Friday morning. We still have that one rogue neighbor who doesn’t have a recycle bin. We shun them at the mailbox, hoping to shame them into going green.

Anyway, every week I’m shocked at how much recycling I create. How was I not recycling all those years? Now, understand, I don’t think there is any particular moral value in recycling; it just the responsible thing to do. And now, when I stick something in the trash, I automatically pay attention to what it is I’m throwing away.

It’s in the paying attention that things change. Before I was recycling, it all went blindly in the trash, all of it, no thought…just trash. At first, recycling was a tad annoying. Rinse everything, make sure it’s the right kind of plastic, have a separate can, blah blah blah. But, after a while, it just happened. I didn’t have play mind games for the trash to get in the corresponding bin.

Now, because I’m paying attention, there is SO MUCH recycling. How did this happen? Was there this much recycling when I wasn’t paying attention? Or, was I buying packaging that wasn’t ecofriendly?

The same is true with emotional healing. I spent three months at an in-patient treatment center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When I went in, I was there specifically for PTSD, but as the three months went by, I discovered there were other things that needed looked at – cleaned up – paid attention to.

The pain, shame, and grief were there the whole time (just like the plastic, cardboard, and glass) but when I started paying attention, there seemed to be more of it. It’s in the paying attention that things change. Counseling didn’t cause the disruption; it just caused me to pay attention. The pain and fear were there all along.

In the long run, counseling is the big green bin. It keeps you from having an emotional landfill of pain, shame, anger, guilt, and fear. Counseling and a willing heart can recycle all you’ve done and all that’s been done to you into something hopeful, useable, and beautiful!

What do you need to recycle?


1 Comment

  1. Well said, Tara! I love the analogy…and the notion that we are environmentalists for the earth recycling the “trash” in our beings!


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