Messiness, as it relates to comfort and peace
There is a kind of unsettled comfort in keeping the messy parts of our lives out of the light. There is comfort, but not peace.
Adapted from a April 13th journal entry
Recently, a couple friends randomly dropped by our house on a walk with friends that happened to live in our same neighborhood. Daniel, a real estate agent, wanted to inside our 1925 brick Tudor. For the first time, in probably, ever, I immediately had a sense of peace to show him around. (Not what you thought I was going to say, huh?)
On my week off last week, I made my way through various lists of small house projects that I had been putting off, basically since we moved in. I’m definitely the type of girl that will run around frantically shoving piles of clutter in drawers or behind closed doors before having anyone over. And over time, these pile up. Sometimes, I’ll do more of a thorough clean, but there are inevitably corners of the house where things seemed to be forever a mess. Also, these thorough cleans inevitably come with more lead time. There’s nothing like having house guests that puts your booty into gear with cleaning and projects. I don’t like this about me, but I feel for some reason, this a better alternative than allowing people to see where I really am…inviting them into my mess.
However, this day was different–actually different. I had cleaned up the messes that I had been avoiding. It wasn’t easy, or timely, but we finally have all 5 bedrooms organized and functional. What needed to be stored is now stored. Our house, for the most part, is now clutter-free. You know what was the best part of showing him around? EVERY SINGLE BED WAS MADE. If you know me, you know that hardly ever happens. Having the extra time at home last week to do “the small things” is making me realize how these things are actually the big things.
When we clean out the small piles of clutter, we have access to peace. When we let light shine in on our messes, we actually can accept what state we are in, and begin to make actual progress on cleaning it up, and making it better.
You probably see where this is going. This is about a messy house, but it’s also not about a messy house. So often, I hold onto mental and emotional piles of crap that I am choosing, yes choosing, to live in everyday. The worst part of all, is when we live in these messes, we become blind to them– ultimately resulting in the delay of peace that is waiting when they are cleared.
There is a piece of trim in our hallway that I patched with wood putty the first week or so we moved in. The putty was tan in color and the trim is white, making it obvious I didn’t finish the job. Full disclosure, it is still there. This week, however, for the first time in a long time, I noticed it. I walk down that hallway every single day. My eyes have seen it daily, but my senses have been weakened, literally desensitized, because of the multiple messes that make me blind to all that still needs to be worked on. It makes me wonder, how many mental and emotional messes are “hiding” under layers of other clutter I have yet to clear out. What all will be exposed when I begin to be vulnerable with my struggles?
Making headway on some projects exposes new ones, but the best part of that is (maybe one of the best words that every was) PROGRESS, honey. So often, I procrastinate because of the overwhelm of volume of everything I need to work on myself. However, when I can start to check things off, I can actually become better. And that awesome word, “progress”, is all that I can keep asking of myself.
This week, I am challenging myself to expose my heart’s tendencies towards darkness. That sounds so “evil” when I read it back, but truly, I want to expose what is still hiding in the dark corners that needs to be lit up, worked on, resulting in a true peace of letting any “Daniel” that comes along to see in all the cubbies and corners.
b. easy on yourself,