Taking Out Your Emotional Trash: Face Your Feelings and Build Healthy Relationships
by Georgia Shaffer
Harvest House - Nonfiction/Self-help/Christian
I'm not sure exactly what I expected out of this book because the subtitle makes it pretty obvious, but I suppose I was not expecting quite the emphasis on relationships. Taking Out Your Emotional Trash is about determining the difference between needs and desires, recognizing what's important to us and letting go of unhealthy emotions so that we can get along better with others.
I read the entire book, even though I wasn't quite sure it fit my needs. I thought there was some very good advice. But, I thought there were a few too many illustrations that were deliberate metaphors for trash depicting negative emotions and that became tiresome, after a while.
What I liked best about this book was the way the author zoned in on some excellent Biblical references on the whole "don't let your past ruin your present" theme, such as:
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. --Isaiah 43:18
I got a little bit of "in your face" chewing-out (backed up with plenty of Bible verses) from this book. The author states in no uncertain terms that it is bad and scripturally considered unacceptable to be a hermit. And, I am a deliberate hermit, in many ways -- not holed up in a cave or anything drastic like that, but I've gradually retreated away from friendship for reasons I won't go into. So, that bothered me and I'll be pondering that for a while. I'm not even sure how one jumps off that boat, once it's been set out to sea.
While I didn't love this book and I'd give it an average rating, I think at least a part of that has to do with the fact that I'm not willing to do the work. I don't like books that tell me to sit down and write my thoughts. I don't want to see my thoughts written down -- not the ones that really mean something. I probably ought to, but . . . nah.
The bottom line:
Taking Out Your Emotional Trash is a Christian guide to living that is, in my opinion, a little weak. But if you're willing to do the work to get to the bottom of your feelings -- journaling about your emotions, answering questions that make you think about your needs versus desires and what you should do to let go of past hurts -- it could be very useful. It just wasn't the right book for me and I particularly found the frequent emotional-trash metaphors annoying.
I haven't taken many photographs, lately, so here's a picture I took right before Christmas, before the last of the colorful autumn leaves had fallen.
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