Sunday is a deep cleaning day at our house. Usually by Monday (read: Sunday night), there are already pockets of clutter here and there--the effects of having kids: a toy here, a sock there, crayons on the table. A cup left on the counter. I find myself constantly reminding everyone to pick up after themselves over and over. I get tired of hearing myself talk. But it bothers me because sometimes when the house is messy, I feel like I'm failing in some way, like I’m letting things fall apart. Never mind that my children are safe and loved and happy. All I can see in those moments is the clutter, mocking me, despite my efforts to sweep it all away.
But when I'm feeling more centered, I look at the bits of clutter here and there as signs of life. Love lives here. Children live here. And we are blessed. Why should a couple of misplaced things cause me distress?
Sometimes we look at pockets of mess in our lives and we think, "This is not supposed to be this way. Every time I clean up one problem, I find another." When life doesn't match our idyllic, airbrushed picture, we think we are doing something wrong or we have bad luck or we look around and think everyone else is better off. We become so focused on our problems that we overlook our blessings.
But when your main concern is being aware and grateful no matter what is going on, you can appreciate life with an open heart. The mess is part of the journey. It’s the dirty work you have to do to grow and expand. It’s the difficult conversations you have to have, battles you have to choose, rejections you have to bounce back from, lessons you have to learn.
We may never like the mess, but we can develop a willingness to go through what we have to go through so we can grow. We can learn to find the beauty in the mess. Here are three ways to make this shift:
Choose your battles. Notice when you are focusing too much on everything that’s wrong. Don't let small problems take up huge space in your mind. Don't let huge problems make you forget your faith.
Question your resistance. Ask yourself, why am I becoming anxious, frustrated or scared? In the example above, am I a bad mom because the house is cluttered? Of course, not. Is life going to end today because you don't have everything figured out yet? No. This is life. Nothing is perfect. We all have challenges.
Think outside of your fear. Ask yourself, have I had problems before? Have I been scared before? Have I gotten through tough times and have I lived and loved even through some...well, mess before? This is not to avoid facing the issue but it’s a way to access a broader perspective so the present issue is not so overwhelming.
Are you missing the blessings in your life because all you can see are the problems? Open your heart and make a list of everything you are grateful for. I dare you not to find the beauty in your mess.
GG Renee is an independent author, a creativity coach, a feeler and an overthinker. She writes for the crazy beautiful complex free creative inspired love drunk woman who relishes her quiet time and believes in miracles. Blog // Twitter // Instagram