Full fridges are a thing. A glorious thing. My mom always has a full fridge of food in various stages of fresh/cooked/leftovery goodness. Need to feed the guy fixing your outside light? No problem. Need to feed the pastor and his wife? Come on over. Dinner for six in 90 minutes? Delightful!
I subscribed to this level of fridge stocking until 2 years ago when I realized I just kept throwing away unopened food that I meant to cook. Or thought I might need.
A full fridge made me feel good.
This past weekend, I cleaned out my fridge and noticed we hadn’t eaten some leftovers AND the brand new package of fresh corn on the cob. I started to Google “does corn go bad?” and then saw it had expired like 3 weeks ago.
It makes me feel like a good mommy to cook. I put the groceries in my cart, I think of how delicious the recipe picture looked and how happy it’s going to make me to put that meal on the table for my babies.
Then, life happens. Fostering happens. Work happens. School happens. My exhaustion happens. And, the food grows hair.
As I was chunking stuff in the trash can this weekend, I literally had the thought “BUT IF I CLEAN THE FRIDGE WE WILL HAVE NO FOOD!”
And it occurred to me:
A full fridge of hairy food
is not a fridge full of good food.
It’s a fridge full of rotten food.
As I stood there enjoying the cool air and wiping out the shelves, I thought about that illusion and how it plays out in life like that, too.
IF I CLEAN OUT MY RELATIONSHIPS, I WILL HAVE NO RELATIONSHIPS.
I WILL DIE ALONE BEING LICKED BY MY 57 CATS.
The truth is that if we clean out our relationships, we will not be alone.
We can know that with our heads, but it doesn’t feel that way in our hearts.
It feels jittery. Panicky. Like the earth has lost it’s gravity.
What if we are already alone?
Maybe the relationships we keep because we want our life to seem full are past their expiration date.
Maybe we just keep pushing them to the back and changing the baking soda container hoping no one will notice the smell.
Maybe we are keeping them around because they make our life feel full.
If they are making our life feel full, then why do we feel like a duck paddling for all it’s worth trying to force the feeling that all is well?
Maybe our lives ARE full. It’s just….
Maybe they are full of things that are structured around the jumbled up history of choices that led us here.
Maybe they are NOT structured around the part of us that is the most true.
Maybe that’s a good indicator as to whether or not we are walking in the light of our authentic self – our best self. If our life fridge is full, but we feel that gnawing empty feeling, maybe what we’re holding on to is gently asking us that it’s time to let it go.
And make room for the good stuff 🙂