The house that I grew up in was a world according to Mama. She made all the decisions those spoken and unspoken. But New Year’s Eve she spoke loud and clear. In this house we bring the New Year in with a clean house and washed clothes. Often times I set about early getting the job done because I never wanted to give Mama a reason to either beat my ass or curse me out.

This tradition of cleaning before the New Year has stuck to me like Gorilla glue. Often times, especially in these later years I found myself trying to wash cloths when I’m sick. I could always hear Mama’s voice, “If you bring out the new year nasty, you will live the new year nasty.” Here I am a grown woman but my head still jacked up trying to meet a woman’s approval who made her way out of the living, well over 8 years ago.
This new year eve as I sat on my sofa reading a book and drinking tea, two of my greatest pleasures, the little girl in me started to hear Mama’s voice about dirty clothes. I started to play it over in my head and give it some serious thought. Was I really going to interrupt my long over due me time to carry out this tradition of Mama’s? I then started to examine my life then and now.

My entire childhood was nasty and there wasn’t enough bleach to clean up the meanness that Mama willed throughout the year. The order and cleanliness that was kept in our home was for everyone to see, but Mama’s nasty was deeply rooted in her spirit and shinned bright in the dark spaces of our home.

Looking back I don’t think that Mama always meant harm, this was just the only way she knew how to survive, live and thrive. Like to justify staying with the husband that was grabbing my beast, she deemed me the tempest whore. I was the light skin bitch that threaten her marriage, it was that conclusion or face the fact that her self-esteem was so low, that she sacrificed the safety of her daughter for a man to lay in her bed.

No matter how often I cleaned the exterior, I could never reach the interior of Mama. With this understanding I started to think about all those traditions that started so long ago in Mama’s house and their impact on my life. Like Mama always cooked black eye peas for good luck but as long at the bottle of Christian Brothers was in the pantry, there was no luck in my cards no matter how big the pot of peas.

Then I started to think about all the resolutions people will be making this mouth and wondered how much of this will be on the surface with the layer of dirt so imbedded in the spirit it will take more then surface cleaning, just like Mama. You see, you can clean the cabinets of all the cookies and potato chips, but if you don’t tackle the why food is your comfort your diet has already failed.

You can delete him/her from Facebook and Twitter, but if you don’t love you more than having someone love you, you will be right back where you were with him/her, or with someone just like him/her.

If you spent your last dollar on a new outfit for the New Year Eve’s party, you need to tackle your need to look good before you can make a budget and actually stick to it.

Often times the things we try to clean up are not the things we ought to clean up. And even the things we try to clean up are often times for others and not ourselves. Looking good on the outside will get you shadow praise, but if the inside is bankrupt then you only deepen your debt.

So before you delete that man from Facebook or Twitter ask yourself some deeper questions; like why were you with him in the first place; why did you stay so long; what makes him different from the last man you deleted from Facebook or Twitter; what did you give up to have a part of him and why; what was so important about having him that you were willing to sacrifice your self for as long as you did?

So before you hit the gym, ask yourself why am I really working out? And for that fact, all those resolutions you made, go down the list one by one and ask yourself, why? Why is this on my list? Why is this important to me? Are these the things that you think you should be doing because of some article you read, or it sounds good, or that people will approve, or are they things to help make you a better you for you because of you?

Most importantly, don’t derail yourself. Be honest about what lingers from within. The Bible says, “As a Man thinketh  in his heart so is he.” Your worth and greatness should lie within you for you. It has nothing to do with any one else. No man, no friend or mother. All your resolutions should stem from the depth of your greatness not the glitter of popularity.

For sure, unless you clean the demons that lay within, the smell of the nasty will seep to the surface and spoil all the work on you over and over again.

It’s like sitting on the toilet pooping with the doors and windows shut. It stinks don’t it? Yep! Often times when we get off the toilet, we go and get the air fresher and spray to hide the stench, but in reality, all you really did was mix it up together and now it’s air fresher with a hit of poop. Air Fresher is surface spray that never touches the core of the smell. Don’t let your life be like air fresher.

For sure all the air fresher in the world will not transform your life. It’s not until you open the doors and  the windows and let the bad oxygen out, that the new can come in and transform that very spot. Start deeper! Clean up from within....

Post Script: By the way, I opted to continue reading my book until I made my way to church for the New Year Eve’s service. I’m cleaning up Mama’s demons that have been embedded in my spirit, one demon at a time!