For several women, closets represent a smorgasbord shopping experience where at least four sizes adorn the racks, awaiting exhibition. My closet, filled to the maximum, needs a considerable purge rather than a wearing. A few years ago, I organized it by size and clothing type, pushing the skinny clothes to the back, the larger to the front. Additionally to beautify the space, green, fake-suede covered hangers to prevent clothing slippage replaced plain wire ones; I created a color-coordinated closet. To produce an enjoyable experience when the door stood ajar, the visual emphasized simplification, consistency, and overall organization. Believing this would alleviate the painful experience of choosing clothes, instead has stood as a reminder that greater issues exist at the forefront. Until I felt comfortable in my skin, no creative closet solutions could alleviate the inner emotional pain.

Greatly aware that the unvisited clothes in the back have wasted away upon hangers, and accumulated dust, I contemplate the disturbing issue that settled within my heart. Disappointment and despair eventually led to keeping the closet door shut. The remaining few fitting pieces of clothing edged out to bureaus; the closet full of clothes left undressed. Since the closet’s formal closing, a healing and transformation of my mind and body has occurred, causing me to contemplate opening the closet, purging it and releasing it from purgatory. Although there must be clothing that fits now, the closet remains a reminder of my past I no longer wish to revisit. That was the old me; today stands the new me.

Removing and donating the clothes to those in need is gratifying, and surely would have made sense three years prior. Unready to settle that score between my closet and generosity, I rationalized that the clothes could and would fit eventually; purchasing new was unnecessary and impractical. Now foolishly I realize the frugal error. Many an expert has claimed that ridding oneself of any form of clutter makes room for the new. Yet I could not hear it once upon a time. Today the purge will cleanse and heal. A reckoning frees my senses and the closet must open, be drained of its contents, and allowed its freedom. Clothing donated is an added blessing; giving to those in need is especially pleasing.

Opening the closet leads me one step further to healing and alleviating the past’s effect upon the present. Taking one step into the closet and removing its contents, releases any bitterness that remains. Former careers highlighting a certain style, dresses worn to weddings, and a host of ensembles that never made it to any ball, are ready to fly into a slew of trash bags awaiting their occupancy. Clearing the clothes cleanses my consciousness, enabling the “knowing” that the excess weight of the past is gone for good, the skinny clothes of repeated diets eliminated, and the future garments, outfits, and attire will assemble slowly, representing the lifestyle I lead today. Coming out of the closet is the past releasing and freeing itself from its confined space. Alleviating its captivity is a commitment to lightening the emotional load of the past, arriving into a healed present. Cleansing the closet is healthy healing.