Friday, January 07, 2011

Taking Out Your Emotional Trash by Georgia Shaffer

Taking Out Your Emotional Trash: Face Your Feelings and Build Healthy Relationships
by Georgia Shaffer
Copyright 2010
Harvest House - Nonfiction/Self-help/Christian
201 pages

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.

Follow the link to view the first chapter of Taking Out Your Emotional Trash by Georgia Shaffer.

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.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Nah, those are her thoughts on how you should go about it. They'll work for some but not all, as usual.

    Hmm. I'm completely put off by the bit that it's scripturally bad to be a hermit. Really? With all those prophets & people roaming the deserts? Feh.

  2. Carrie,

    Yes, exactly, and I've found those books just don't work for me. I'm not sure why I talked myself into giving "how-to" on living another try. I also have a book on procrastination (yes, I keep putting it off) and I hope it's a little more reasonable.

    That really bothered me, the hermit bit.

  3. "I think at least a part of that has to do with the fact that I'm not willing to do the work" Yup, me too. And I think it's safe to say you and I are not the only ones who share that sentiment. Ah well. ;)

    Beautiful fall picture. We had an absolutey gorgeous fall in Dallas--one of the most colorful ones I can remember. Unfortunately it was always too dang cold on Saturdays for me to venture out with the camera. We still have leaves on our trees but they're the not very pretty dried dead brown color. Maybe next year.

  4. Trish,

    I'm disappointed with myself in some ways, but at the same time . . . just reading about emotional trash brought forth a lot of memories that I'd just as soon keep buried and I felt a little depressed when I closed the book. I can't see how focusing on them can possibly help anything. I'd rather just move on and make changes where needed rather than bringing hurts back into scrutiny.

    Thank you! We had a beautiful fall, too. I didn't get many pictures of the color because we went to Oklahoma right at the height of our fall color and returned to mostly brown, empty trees. That particular set of leaves was on a decorative tree in front of a Petsmart! LOL

  5. I understand about the emotional trash...just another name for baggage, really, but I can't wrap my head around the hermit stuff. I can't agree.

  6. Bybee,

    Exactly. Baggage, trash . . . it's the same thing but it gets tiresome when mentioned frequently. I tend to agree with you on the hermit thing, although she did list some Bible verses that seem to prove her point.


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