I’m sorry for all the times I said I will do it later.
I would spend time building up the “perfect” scene, but not actually wanting to play in it – I said I will do it after I finish the building part.
Being 6 or 7 years old, I’d spend 2-3 hours to set up the perfect Barbie house life.
From where the cake stickers in the kitchen would go, to how the Barbies were dressed and how their shoes are aligned next to the closet.
But actually playing life with dolls would make everything messy and I didn’t like the mess.
I didn’t like how their hair would get tangled and I didn’t like how boring their life soon got. Or rather, how unimaginitive I was.
I prefered building and imagining the Barbie, Ken and horses’ life and then move on to the next playing field.
I would sharpen the pencils, arrange all the watercolors and then I was scared to draw what I really felt.
Because I was scared for it to get messy and scared to not be understood.
So I coloured behind the lines, never around them.
The pictures I drew were the ones I knew I would get the most praise.
Even as a kid, I played it safe.
I’ve built walls and constraints around my life so I wouldn’t get hurt.
We all do.
We build mental models of reality and feel threatened when something from the outside happens that could potentially change how we feel on the inside.
But with restraints that feed our egos, we also might close ourselves off to beautiful things … To life.
The life, that feels and is messy at times.
The leftover coffee grounds in the sink.
The muddy paws of our furry friends, that stain floors.
The rotten onion that got bad because we forgot to throw it away.
And the bloody fears that keep us in the safety of what we value, but might rob us from experiencing the whole spectrum of what life has to offer.
You know how the saying goes – what you value, you probably value too much …
I still am bothered by the mess. It disrupts my inner feeling of peace and it shows up as another to-do on my list.
And I say I will do it later, avoiding the messy-ness.
But by avoiding, it only get’s messier.
Then I’m wishing the to-do list wasn’t there.
But you know when the to-do list is finally over?
When the warm ground covers your skeleton or the wind blows your ashes under the stars from which you are made of.
Instead of wishing away the mess, I began to practice the more important thing than the task itself:
If you read the Guide on 10 ways to wellbeing, that is the very first on the checklist.
I am slowly accepting the mess and the feelings of discomfort that arise.
I am aware that everytime I get rid of the mess, it will come back.
Isn’t life just handling one mess after another, with some glimpses of peace sprinkled between?
So instead of avoiding the dreaded messes and to-do lists that never get done because that later never comes,
here are some questions I ask myself, to change my intention going about the daily have-to-do’s:
How can I accept the ebbs and flows of daily life and not be overly excited when everything is clean, tidy and perfect?
Is staying safe and avoiding mess of playing, coloring and simply living – making me happier and more free –
or is it restraining me from experiencing even more joy in life?
Am I feeling expansive when I think about colouring outside the lines or am I feeling repulsion?
Exploring the feeling of repulsion and fear will reveal clues about walls you’ve built around you.
From there, it’s your choice:
will you keep exploring or will you stay within borders?
Where are you avoiding the mess and thus, avoiding what life has to offer?