I once read that cleaning your home is an attempt to control the chaos of the world. And logically it makes sense, I cannot right the world but I can dust this shelf.
When I’m dealing with a particularly difficult challenge the repetitive motions of cleaning give me the perfect amount of mental effort to reflect on my problem and figure out my next steps. The action is irrelevant, it is the larger purpose it is serving. Repotting plants or mending stuffed animals is not high on my list of fun projects but when I have a larger problem to tackle these rhythmic, repetitive actions soothe my brain and give me familiar exercise without taxing my already overwrought mind.
Therefore, in our home when it is time to clean we typically follow a routine, when we are angry we sometimes scrub with a little more intensity, but when the cleaning becomes something we do to control or as an excuse to avoid a larger conversation then we know it’s time to let the cleaning go.
Having an open heart and open hands is a blessing. It is a gift that we have so much that it needs organizing. And in the midst of the chaos of moving and transition it’s easy to fall into the comfort of cleaning in order to give ourselves the temporary illusion of control, and that’s ok. Sometimes it’s more than necessary.
Sitting in discomfort is hard. Recognizing that your actions are indicative of larger issues is hard. Not distracting ourselves from all the conflicting emotions this moment has brought to our doorstep is hard. Feeling all of the feelings is hard. There’s a lot to feel, a lot to love, a lot to mourn and a lot to rejoice. And sometimes rather than clinging to a scrub brush we need to cling to each other because this wild ride is just getting started and it’s going to get a whole lot messier anyway.