Being a writer, storyteller and counselor I am often consumed by narrative. I look for consistency and continuity. I’m the person in the movie theater who notices what the out-of-focus actor is (or isn’t) doing. I love pulling together pieces of a puzzle and coming to new found understandings…even about old experiences.

In this regard, everything is connected for me. No two stories are separate. Once their story lines have intersected they will forever remain that way – even if only as a sub-story or side plot. Yes, this is how I see things.

I also see signs and symbols. Nothing is without meaning, even if you don’t know the meaning at the moment. There are no coincidences either. Forces greater than ourselves are engaged in our stories, too – though we often like to disregard or disrespect their presence.

Yes people, this is my life. This is a snapshot of the world through my eyes…so it’s no wonder that while cleaning my house today I was able to identify several parallels to my life. Maybe it’s just me (though I doubt it since Iyanla Vanzant wrote an entire book around the concept…it just didn’t come alive for me “until today” – another
Iyanla classic).

Anywho, my life – as you may have read in my previous post – has been off the richter this last month. I’ve been busier than I have in quite some time. And while I loved the rush, many other obligations have gone overlooked – like cleaning my humble abode, for example.

The sad thing is, my abode really is humble. The best description is “roomy.” Calling it a studio would be an overstatement. Literally, take off the “y” and it really is a much better depiction of my living arrangement. So you can imagine that for it to need some serious tending speaks volumes to my neglect.

As I tried to shift throughout my small quarters, pulling furniture to the center of the floor, cleaning baseboards, sweeping, mopping, dusting and filing I couldn’t help bt take note of the plethora of things that kept falling on me. Stuff I wasn’t even looking for surfaced, and things I’d been seeking after for days, weeks, months – I found damaged.

And isn’t that just the way it is? Life happens. You promise yourself you’ll get around to addressing the few loose strings left dangling, but it seems there’s never enough time (or energy) to make it happen. Then when you finally do, you wind up making a bigger mess before you rectify anything.

You notice those words left unsaid or deeds left undone have are similar to the dust balls around your baseboards. Initially, the infraction is minimal. But over time, the initial shock gives way to bitterness and resentment. Before you know it, what seemed permissible become unbearable (whether your the person waiting to hear or see a new thing or the one being waited on seems to make no difference).

As if that’s not enough there’s still all the secrets, trauma, and other little dark spaces you’ve plugged into the recesses of your mind that show themselves when you start cleaning house. Those things you told yourself that you were over suddenly seem to be at the center of everything you do. Memories aren’t as happy as you once recalled and

The initial lack seems minimal, but the resentment and bitterness build up over time until it’s polluting your life like dust in the air.

And not to mention those papers or books or shoes or clips you were looking for. You scratch the surface only to learn that something you thought of one way is now something else. You find it in need of repair. But is it worth the fix? You won’t know until you reflect on the experiences and determine what they mean to you.

Let me make it plain. At different times in your life you’re going to have to clean your emotional house. You’re gonna need to dust and mop and vacuum out the cobwebs of days long gone. You’re going to need to be realistic about what’s useful and what’s junk. You’ll need to make peace with the fact that as you’re cleaning you’ll have to move things around; you’ll uncover more crap and have to clean that, too.

The longer you go without cleaning you’re emotional house, the less emotional leeway you have to work with. You’re area will be about as big as my “roomy” space. You’ll bump around into old wounds, knock over some pretty fragile feelings causing them to chip, crack or outright shatter. And if you stop midway through, you can kiss your sleep good-bye (no completion, no peace).

So what to do? Stay grounded, stay focused and stay happy. Remember that when it’s all done you can finally rest. It doesn’t mean all your troubles will disappear, but it does mean that when you encounter adversity you will be well-prepared to prevail.

Now, go clean house…and maybe clean your room while you’re at it. 😉

Good luck and Namaste!