Saturday, November 7, 2009

House Blessing/Self Care

Today is a fine fall day!! Most likely one of the last we will have in these parts. I have opened the windows in the house to let in the breeze - no matter that it has that crisp edge to it, like the taste of a honeycrisp apple on your tongue. I want to gather in all that tang and sweet into my house one more time before the cold of winter takes over on the wind.

I am STILL cleaning and organizing. I am struggling to reframe my thoughts about housework - to think of it not as "work" but as "blessing". I am being semi-successful at this.

Right now I am sitting in a mostly finished living room - only dusting and carrying out of items to the curb to go - and I love the peaceful feeling I get in here. There is laundry in the washer and dryer, becoming clean and pretty again. After the next load I will have sweet scented sheets to put back on the bed. These are all wonderful happy-making things.

What is difficult is acknowledging that I am not the best at doing this kind of work while not using that as a reason to berate myself for being a failure of some kind. It is simply a statement of fact: I do not upkeep my house continuously.

I even had to revise that last sentence to take the judgment out of it! Originally it was "I am not good at housework". No. That is not true, because when I do it, it gets done very well. I do not do it all the time. The latter IS true and there is no judgment in that sentence.

When I can get beyond this judging myself business, then it is easy to move on to statements that are also true: I feel happy and peaceful when my house is straightened up because I know where things are and where they belong. I feel anxious and overwhelmed when things are cluttered because my things are in disarray and I do not know where they are.

Getting beyond this judgment of self and getting down to how I actually FEEEEEL about my home and the state in which it resides has been helpful. Knowing that I am far more happy when things are done leads me to do it more often.

So silly, those voices in our heads that berate us and keep us from doing what truly makes us happy. I am not perfect at combating them, and I don't know if I ever will be, but I am learning and growing and telling them to shut the hell up more and more and more.

"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete"
-Thich Naht Hanh

1 comment:

Crumpet said...

I have a love-hate relationship with house work. I hate that I have to spend my weekends cleaning the house, and that within days, all my good work has been undone.

Yet, when the house is clean and tidy, I feel good about myself. My mood is intricately tied to the state of the house! When the house is a mess, I am grumpy and angry.

I even try to make house work fun, by wearing a cute black skirt! I'd wear a complete maid's outfit, but I'm not sure how the wife would think about that.