There I was readying lunch when they caught my attention. The rush of emotion that filled my heart, soul and then my eyes was over bearing. I could not hold back the tears and then the sobbing ensued. My husband had cleaned out the cabinet and placed the disposable coffee cups that had been in the same place of the cabinet for many years and moved them to the top of the refrigerator. Yes, disposable coffee cups! I just haven’t been able to throw them out, since my dad passed away in 2016.

There is so much more to those cups than what meets the eye. These were cups that I kept in the cabinet so when my dad would visit he could take “a cup of coffee for the road”, as he would always say. This is the third birthday that he has not been here to sing with mom or call me himself. It is just as hard now as it was the first year. Today is his birthday and there will be no going to visit him and singing in our silliest voices.

Seeing the cups really made me think about all the things that I have held on to that have no purpose or place in my life now and things in my life that I have treated as disposable. Throwing the cups away will not change the situation, but really holding on to them isn’t either, however it will declutter a space that has been filled for years. Trying to free space in my mind that I have allowed to become cluttered with insecurities and self doubt often paralyzes me. Why is it so hard?

Celebrating another birthday made me take a step back and evaluate myself. I began a journey a few months ago to learn how to love myself. This has proven to be much harder than I first expected. Frankly, I am nowhere close to being there either. I have learned to take baby steps in this process, because there are a number of things that have caused the disposable mind set in me.

Trust me; I have done my share of treating emotional parts of me as disposable as well as, letting the actions of others make me feel this way. Insecurities have slowly made me throw parts of me away that I needed to hold onto. I let others tell me that parts of me needed to be disposed of because it didn’t fit into what they needed or wanted me to be. I have disposed of things willingly myself, for the good of others or so I made myself believe. Many of the things that once brought me joy have been thrown away.

Yes, there are behaviors and mindsets that I have needed to let go of in life to grow as person, but somehow I forgot that is was equally important to hold on to parts of myself for the good of me. I am at a point in my life that I realize I have busied myself with being what others expect, want and need me to be, therefore disposing of my joy and peace in the process.

So, today I pledge to myself that I will prayerfully seek joy and peace. I will dispose of the things that no longer have a place in my thoughts. Sure, I know my insecurities will creep into my head, but I vow to cast them out just as fast as they enter. My best friend always tells me, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”. Starting now, I choose to refill the empty cup that I have made excuse as to why I didn’t have time for me to fill it. Making a better me is the only way I can help others.


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