Reviewed by Linda W. for Readers' Favorite
Taking Out Your Emotional Trash by Georgia Shaffer is one of the better books I’ve read on dealing with negative and erroneous thoughts that lead to poor emotional and spiritual health.
Georgia starts out helping you determine whether you are in fact in the danger zone emotionally and spiritually. If you find yourself there, and I think we all are in some aspect, her book helps set you up to make a commitment to change and identifying those areas that need to change.
Georgia acknowledges that we all have trash that we have grown used to from childhood or current relationships that are poisonous to our growth. Her book lists four specific ways to start the change, so you are not left wondering how to start. This may feel a little daunting at first, but I appreciated her candidness.
• Ask for God’s help
• Be still and listen quietly
• Wait expectantly
• Obey fully
After giving you the list of ways to start changing, she also helps you learn to sort through your emotional trash and dispose of it, all of which I found very helpful.
• Praying for direction and clarity
• Reading Scripture
• Journaling your thoughts and experiences
• Talking with someone you trust
• Exercising and taking time for rest/renewal
• Letting go of what you can’t control (a ‘biggie’)
Then I began to feel like Georgia was starting to “meddle,” discussing which desires need to be discarded. Not everything we want is a need or even necessary. She aptly teaches us how to grieve hurts and disappointments of unmet expectations in a way that grows us up.
Then, to top it off, she wants to know how you are handling your anger! She clearly shows you the distinctions of handling anger properly versus destructively. She guides you gently and truthfully.
I think one of the bigger issues among all the ones she has touched on is the need to forgive. Sometimes we get stuck. Other times we want revenge. But vengeance is the Lord’s. Georgia thoroughly delineates the reasons to forgive. She also discusses the different personalities and how they play out in this whole process.
Interspersed throughout her chapters, she has little “Trash Talk” inserts that are very practical and sometimes convicting. I love those. They are great reminders of what life is really about. Her book is interactive in that she has you regularly “Taking Out The Trash.” This part is pertinent in helping you apply what you have learned.
Georgia’s style is easy to read and understand. She progresses in a timely manner, so you don’t get overwhelmed in the process. This is definitely a book that I believe should be on anyone’s shelf that has difficulties in any of the areas listed above–and I believe that would include everyone!