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This weekend, I engaged in the most arduous task of sifting through my wardrobe closet. The annual, or in my case, the quarterly ritual of “spring-cleaning” was underway. I would keep my favorite pieces, toss those that were frayed, and donate those that I fell out of love with. As I gave God thanks for what I kept and what I passed on, I thought about all of the thoughts, feelings and ideas I still held onto that made my heart and soul feel cluttered. It was time to bid some nagging triggers and assumptions adieu.

The simple task of cleaning my bedroom and closet opened up a floodgate of emotions. I considered the person that I wanted to become, and the things that held me down or blocked my vision of the future. I thought about all of the anger, fear, anxiety and sadness I held from years of trauma. I considered the decisions I made that I wasn’t proud of. I pondered the possibilities connected to the projects I put on hold because I didn’t believe in myself. The more I sifted through my soul, the more junk I discovered. The reality of my weighted existence made me sick to my stomach. My soul sifting would be tedious, long and painful. Nevertheless, I would be up to the marathon.

The change of seasons gives us a great segue to establishing purpose in our quest to discover destiny. God has folded in the perfect “soul-sifting” calendar for us to reflect on the things that empower our lives, and the things that inhibit our greatness. Holding on to old thoughts, poor decisions and lost possibilities makes the move toward a lighter and brighter life harder than it has to be. When we take in the timeline of our lives and see the lessons God built in its framework, we truly live, move and have our being.

What’s on your shelf? What do you need to release in order to truly experience happiness? Whom have you not forgiven? Where have you not taken a closer look? The truth about cleansing and embracing newness is that neither will occur until you dare to be transparent with yourself and eliminate the emotional toxins that get in your way. Jesus declared that he came to offer a more “abundant” life. You may be surprised to discover in your soul sifting that the very key to bliss is buried underneath your maybe’s and your used to be’s. As spring kisses us on the cheek and takes her seat, turn on the light within you, make peace with everything that stops you from moving forward and skip your way towards a new you.

Esih Efuru, a 44 year old writer, artist and minister, is raising a daughter in Charlotte, NC. Email her

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To Keep or Not To Keep  was originally published on