Sunday, March 15, 2009

sacred life sunday: serenity

For the last several months (maybe for even over a year now) I've had this love/hate relationship with the 1911 square feet of space that I call My House. Being its mistress, I mean.

We (the children and I, and Eric when he's home with us) spend our days living in this house fully. We eat, we grow, we explode, we explore, we track in and trek through, we meld and melt. We do 92% of our Living in this house.
And our kind of living is messy.

I clean. I move to another room, and the first one is in shambles when I pass through the next time.
This has been my focus for the last several months.
That's It's Never Done. That it's never even close to done.
That I'm fighting (scratching and clawing, it seems most times) my way to the top and I only end up falling further down into the abyss.
Might seem humorous.
Maybe it is.
Not while one is in the Throes of Despair, however.

Since this subject is so much on my mind lately (it really is, it seems that so much of my life revolves around this issue) I mentioned the other day off-handedly that I didn't think this house had ever been clean all at once.
Every room. Inside every kitchen cupboard. The silverware tray. The linen drawers and cabinets. Every closet. Under every sink. Every dresser drawer. Every wall. Every door, every door frame, every junk drawer, every desk drawer, every game shelf, every baseboard, bookshelf, refrigerator compartment, picture frame, pair of shorts, paint brush, curtain, window, window sill, toy box, pillow, and removable couch cover.
I fight a daily battle. I want my house clean. "My house is never clean all at once," I said to my friend, not letting on that this is a deep, dark confession of my Spirit.
"Yeah, but it stays clean for a long time when it's done," replied my friend Sam. Blithely. Off-handedly.
To the rescue.

Is it true? I think.
Is it really possible?
Is it possible to have every surface and subsurface clean inside this entire house?

That's all it took for me to change my mind.
Instead of battling...
I am simply doing it.

I started five days ago.
I am thrilled to say that I am succeeding in taming and loving this place.
I'm keeping a running list, and feel so elated when I can cross something off.
I know that it's so clean. That there isn't a thing I could have possibly done to make it moreso. Because if it could have been cleaned and shined (and it all can) then it was.
The surprising (astounding, really) thing is... that four and five days later, the rooms that have been done are still done.
Just like that.
All by themselves.

The cleaning itself isn't happening on its own.
It's in my focus, to be sure.
This project has been given top priority.

"You're always cleaning..." complained my friend the other day when I said we couldn't go play, I had things to do.
"Yeah, but this is different," I said. This time I'm doing it out of Love, instead of out of fear and despair-- and I am succeeding.

The whole thing probably seems crazy.
Crazy that the well-being of one's Soul would have anything to do with the cupboard under the kitchen sink being sparkly and organized.

But that's the way it lies, for me.
Perfectly, splendidly organized.
And Sparkly.

In this (figurative and physical) space, I can fly.
I can smile.
I can rest,
and I can Breathe.

I can breathe.

7 comments:

Valerie Willman said...

Yes, but: How did you do it?

Help.


In despair,
Valerie

Mon said...

Cool, out of love is cool.

I do wonder though. Do you know where the need to have it All clean comes from?

"Crazy that the well-being of one's Soul would have anything to do with the cupboard under the kitchen sink being sparkly and organized.

But that's the way it lies, for me.
Perfectly, splendidly organized."

Wow, that seems very telling.
"Perfect"..... ??

hugs

Stephanie said...

Mon -
Yup.

I definitely expect perfection. No mistakes, no embarrassing moments, no shouting, no impositions on others, no lacking.

But this is a bit different, I think, in that this is also getting rid of crap (rubbish) that isn't wanted, isn't needed, and doesn't serve us. It's a cleansing, as well as a taking care of Now, and setting up a free and not bogged-down (with unseen yuckies) space for today and tomorrow.

It's also good for me that I get to look at things that annoy me - like the children constantly kicking the printer off its shelf, and instead of being annoyed by the situation when I go to clean it, I can figure out a way to move it so that it isn't in their way, and safe from being broken.
Things that I constantly overlook because I'm too busy or not thinking clearly can be tended to, tossed out, or re-situated, if needed.
The need to be organized is definitely a control thing, but I'm learning to let go of the need for it in many areas of my life.
But I'm not tossing this one anytime soon. (Well, some days I do, but eventually I just feel panicky about the chaos.)

Valerie - one spot at a time.

Sheri said...

I understand the cleansing aspect of cleaning and ridding yourself of the things that are unneeded or unused. For me it creates space as well, but also brings focus and awareness to the things that we love and truly utilize. It's a process that started right before moving day and I hope will continue when we land on solid ground again. Many blessings as you continue the purification process. :)

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, my. I am so there. Or, at least, I'd love to be.

I'm focused on my kitchen right now. We had to call in the bug killers yesterday, and I'm so grossed out. Pulled EVERY LAST THING out of our cabinets, and I'm scrubbing from ceiling to floor. It's taking forever. And I'm realizing how dirty and cluttered the rest of the house is, too.

But how do you get such focus? My schedule is so booked and I feel guilty cancelling fun, social things to get stuff done at home!!

Mom to a 2e child said...

Oh - love this post! I have a love hate relationship with cleaning. My son has really bad allergies so if I don't attempt to clean the home from top to bottom once a week, I can tell a difference with him....so Sunday is a no fun afternoon usually with me cleaning while dear husband and son spend some time together - YUCK - and then it looks right back to normal it seems right afterwards - arrgghh

piscesgrrl said...

I love-love-love a clean, tidy, organized house too. I just DO. No apologies. I've been spring cleaning as well and it feels good. However, I look out at my yard and as much as I want (nay, crave) spring, I think "Not yet!" I can't handle both.

If I lived closer, your kids would come and chase mine and you'd have all the time and space you needed to get things all sparkly.