“Clean Your Room”
Nobody Ever Had to Say That To Me
Would you call yourself neat?
If you came to my house, you would quickly notice the apparent tidiness of the space.
I do lean toward anal.
Things are organized, not always returned to the same spot, but landed definitively, nevertheless, somewhere predetermined.
If you look a little closer, however, you will surely see a grainy layer of dust on the chair rungs, pulls of hair—mine!—tucked subtly into a corner, and dog hair disguised as true prairie tumbleweed gleefully hugging the baseboards.
Neat could be my middle name.
Clean? Nope, not really.
I’m allergic to messiness.
Open cabinets drive me bonkers.
Piles of papers irk me; I would rather ‘stuff’ be jammed aimlessly into a random drawer, than being hunkered down in plain sight.
Is there a subgroup emerging here?
Simply said, I don’t deal well with messiness.
Am I repeating myself?
Today I hurt a friend, a dear friend. My careless and impulsive words hurt her. My internal response instantly, of course, being the good Jewish girl that I am, was to profusely apologize and to swear that it will never, ever, happen again.
And you know what?
Of course it will happen again.
It will happen again and again.
Because…..you know why?
Because life is messy!
Shit happens, as the bumper sticker so informs us.
No matter how much we organize, tidy, move things from spot to spot, and then back again—life is messy.
Relationships are messy.
Feelings are messy.
Today, this is landing as a deeply uncomfortable life truth for me. I think somewhere inside of me that it’s my job on the planet to keep my shit together. And probably yours, too.
And alphabetize it.
Call it a control issue.
Call it a giant/busy/smokescreen to keep me moving faster than time itself.
Perhaps my anti-messiness campaign might be an attempt to avoid:
- Not knowing the “outcome”?
- Wanting you to love me the most?
- (Fill in the blank for yourself:)
Truly, this let/me/get/busy/and/pretend/to/tackle/all/messiness/of/life/syndrome keeps me from my life.
I am here in this moment, this pretty-okay-enough post-election (phew!) moment, and in this moment, I choose to recommit.
I choose to recommit to the practice of abiding the messiness of life.
I choose to recommit to the practice of abiding the inevitability of conflict.
I choose to recommit to the practice of abiding my own imperfections, my own insensitivity.
I’m thinking, this being human on some level truly does suck. Yet the pleasures these human bodies offer us, the glory of the streaking sunset, the afternoon light filtering golden through the newly bared branches—these are the gifts that truly are received and accepted in our human form.
Permission to be human!
Can we give ourselves a more profound blessing?
Let’s bless our behavior and the feelings that have generated them.
As we bless and accept ourselves, let’s lean in the opposite direction, opening to the new, to the possible, to the transformed.
As we dare to accept our behavior, the door opens to new ways of being.
As we say in Twelve Step program, don’t give up before the miracle.
Just for today, I’m trusting that.
Dear Folks, how would you rate your capacity to be in life’s messiness? Do you relate to anything in this piece? How are you doing, in this post-election moment? Please keep me posted. As always, I delight in your reaching out. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.