Just like this empty screen before me today, I gotta set up PROBLEMS in my life, to fix. Without a problem, I like to just sit and drift and daze and listen to Dobie Gray all day long, instead of doing anything else…
Problems are so delicious, so tasty, they invigorate me, they awaken hidden talents. I jump to assist when there is a problem. When things are ‘fine’… it’s harder for me to move my butt. So truly, I live at a low level of motivation and gumption and drive… I don’t really wake up at the crack of dawn, ready to tackle the day. I don’t fill every moment with productive activity, or planned restfulness that rejuvenates in a classically well prepared way.
I hired a housecleaner to come to our little place this week. Our counter tops were too covered in junk mail and randomly left objects for her to really do any good work. She would have had to just make a huge basket-full of crap, for me to sort later, so she could do her work.
Anyway, I stayed up quite late the other night, right before she was scheduled to come, in order that the place was orderly enough, to be professionally ‘cleaned’. Yeah, so what. I had to hire a housecleaner, to get me off my butt and actually do some routine picking up. I could beat myself up about not having a normal habit of daily doing 15 minutes of cleaning. I could also waste mentally energy worrying that I could do this myself and save us the money. I could even look at the fact that my wife will be off of her official work soon, and we could do this together.
Anyway, LOTS of reasons for me to wish I was just ‘naturally’ better at being disciplined and organized and have my life together, you know, now that I am an adult an all that…
35 years old, and I still don’t like doing chores, and housework. Never really have, maybe never will.
BUT! There is a solution. I hire someone to come here, to work on this problem, and that in turn ignites another part of my mentality. I see how far I have let things go, and I choose to get myself to work, in order that they don’t see how messy I normally live. Just like back in my partying days, when hosting parties, I would clean the place up before people got here.
I have an idea that ‘good people’ don’t live in messy houses. Ha! I don’t know where it came from. I have fond memories of my favorite people, like my wonderful grandparents, they have a house that is very clean, everything in it’s place. They have nice decorations and furniture items that are appropriately placed with just the right book or lamp or even a Welcome sign, that I made in preschool sitting on top.
I don’t have that kinda house. Not even close. I have random furniture, the walls are only partially decorated. A couple of them have holes in the sheetrock. One of them, I punched in with my own fist a long time ago, and never fixed… Good people like my grandparents, don’t have walls with holes punched in them… So I must not be a good person… like them… right…
You know, I don’t know where all the self-judgement comes from. I do know that I choose to pay attention to it, a lot of the time. It is probably a habit that I created long ago, and like a lot of habits, I have ironically found it comfortable to fall into, more often than not.
I heard recently about mental momentum. I think it was Ester Hicks/Abraham, talking about it. I notice it now, I can feel that mental momentum building up, sometimes as soon as I wake up. Maybe her message is supposed to help me be aware and realize that I can release that momentum at any time. All habits are either constantly re-created, or possibly re-directed into new ones, so I’m told.
Setting up ‘problems’ that grab my attention is a pretty high-level activity, that I could use more often. I could hire a housecleaner to come, or invite friends to come over more often, if I really wanted to see my home become more regularly in order. I could notice, that just for me and my wife, we are really okay with not having every item in it’s perfect place all the time. We can be comfortable with things a little crazy around here.
The moments where I decide to judge myself on our personal habits, and call them bad, or call myself a bad person, are the only times that pain shows up. Lots of moments happen with the exact same circumstances, or messes around me, and I can be quite happy.
Apart from any situation, apart from any person or particular object or pile of junk, is our well-being. It really exists on a different plane that I usually believe it does. I take an apple, and I take an orange, I mentally create a fruit called applorange that connects the two. I do it all the time.
I unite two things are truly separate and different from one another. I decide that my well being, my state of contentedness, my mental stability, my anger or happiness are welded directly to my circumstances. A bank account balance, my car’s dependability, the cleanliness of my house, or the performance of my team at work, are all factors in the frequency of the spikes in my roller-coaster of daily emotions…
I can keep them connected and keep struggling, or see the disconnect and quit working so hard to tie them together in fraying knots. I can quit deciding daily that ‘because of _________ I am happy, or because of ___________ I am unhappy.”
It could be that simple.
Maybe someday I will experience the truth. I will just be glad that my system is working for me, just as it always has, just as it always will. I will trust myself, I will trust in the God that cradles our universe. I will someday back away from the cliff’s edge. I will see that inviting a housecleaner, and motivating myself to get my place spruced up, is a perfectly acceptable system. It just is.
I can go through the benefits of sharing the money, to someone who is working hard for it. I could talk about how we are busy people, and it is just so nice to start our summer with a home-sweet-home freshness. I could go through more reasons and circumstances that I can sew and thread together again, to explain how this system is generating happiness.
Again I am stuck in old ways.
I can just decide to rejoice and be glad in today. Just because joy exists already. I am recognizing it for what it is. I am inviting it into my being today.
In the last week, I have been thinking so much of family. Last week on Friday, was my beloved cousin’s birthday. Miss You Meg. Wednesday this week, marked 31 years since the day my Dad drowned. Those are days that rocked the foundation of my experience. They are days that remind me of people I miss sooooo much. Days to rejoice, too.
Just for the reasons I said before. These wonderful people didn’t create my happiness. They didn’t make me a good person. They didn’t personally construct my moods, good or bad. They were simply divine souls that I partnered with for beautiful tiny moments. They are ‘gone’ now, from our sight and our touch, but not gone in any other way. They live still along side and throughout, just like always. They see the big picture now.
I can keep staring into the junk piles here and worrying about the little things as long as I want to. I can keep using the minutia of my day to dictate my feelings. My Dad, my cousin Megan, those other ones who have expanded, seem to remind me, that it’s all small stuff.
I can sit back at any time. I can stargaze. I can deeply breathe, and thank God. I can hire the house cleaned every day. I can quit my job. I can invent a new sandwich for lunch today. I can do just about anything here in this place, and none of it, really is tied to how I feel. I can see it switch in a flash, I can pop, from one space to the next instantly. I can love anything, anyone, any circumstance, at any time.
I seem to do that most, in the heat of a problem. I seem to like problems very much. I today, can remind myself that I can love them, always. I like to be at work, solving and playing and crying too, in this world. I hope these words, remind you of something truthful today too.