Yooo! Crash! Those sounds excited me when I was an 8-year-old boy living on the south side of Chicago. I’d rush to the alleyway in the back of the garage and watch the blue truck rumble past the 50-gallon metal drums filled with trash. Two men walking at the back of the truck would yell, “Yooo,” to signal the driver to stop. They’d then turn a can upside down onto a conveyor belt. CRASH! Garbage tumbled into the belly of the beast.
My eyes darted to the recovered treasures on the side of the truck – a broken bike that could be repaired, a steering wheel that could be used for a go-cart, and roller skates that could be salvaged for wheels. With dreams of reclaiming tossed treasure, I wanted to be a garbologist!
Thankfully, dreams of garbology were replaced with psychology. However, I learned a valuable lesson – out of every trashy situation, there was always a treasure.
When I became a therapist some 40 years ago and began counseling clients, I realized that any mental or emotional trash downloaded from childhood held nuggets of gold. Out of despair came the seeds of hope. Loss held the prospect of a new life. Unworthiness and lack of love fueled the desire to feel loved.
If you ever feel trapped on the conveyor belt of life, heading toward the belly of the beast, shout, “Yooo!”
Empty the worrisome chatter from your mind and look for the hidden treasures: the warm sun caressing your cheek; a gentle touch from a loved one; a welcoming smile from a stranger. The tiny gold nuggets will remind you to walk with hope in your heart and return back Home to your True Self, where there’s only love.