There is much to be said about clutter and disorganization in your home having a direct correlation to your physical and mental health. The internet is ripe with articles and testimonials about this phenomenon. Today, I was sitting in my backyard trying to have a clear and meditative moment when I decided that this was true.
My back yard looks like a desert wasteland. You almost expect to see Mel Gibson dressed as Mad Max come walking around the corner of the house, covered with dust and scouring the land for supplies. It’s embarrassing. My husband and I joke about this to our friends but it is mostly to cover up the shame we both feel about having let it all go back there. We have kids and a dog and Game of Thrones, obviously making yard work low on our priority list. Its more like we warn people before they peek out the window. We care about what our space and habitat looks like because it says a lot about who we are. We are FAR from fancy but we try to make a good impression by sprucing and cleaning. We want anyone who comes into our home to feel comfortable and welcome. The success of Pinterest proves that we are a generation obsessed with cheap and easy DIY fixes for the home. We want to paint and spruce and decorate so that we feel “acceptable”.
It’s not that different from how we dress ourselves. We primp and fuss with our hair and makeup, especially if we have somewhere special to be. Clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories. Women are known for paying attention to detail. Lots of men are just as fussy about the way they look as us ladies are. It’s just a necessary evil right? We spend so much time showering, sugar scrubbing, shaving, lotioning and dressing. Brushing, curling, straightening and spraying. Blending, concealing, highlighting, and glossing. Finally, we look in the mirror and survey if we are ready to leave the house. Are we acceptable to be seen? To step out in the marketplace and participate in life? Even though these painted versions of ourselves aren’t truly who we are, they make us feel good enough about ourselves to go ahead and try. We head out the door to conquer our day and the first time someone tells us we look nice we immediately say,”NOOOOOOOOOOOO. No I don’t, I’m gross. But thank you.” We mustn’t believe anyone when they actually compliment us, right?
If you busted your ass gutting out your back yard and pulling weeds and planting new sod you wouldn’t dismiss someone telling you how great it looked! Why?! Because you KNOW IT LOOKS GOOD GURRRL. YOU WORKED HARD! It paid of and now you can take a deep breath, open a cold bottle of beer and enjoy. Doesn’t that feel good? To have gratitude for a nice space to sit and make memories in? What in THE WORLD would happen if we treated our bodies the same way? Like a sacred space, to enjoy sitting in and making memories with?
Looking around my yard and then my home I realized that in the same way I had kind of given up on my appearance because of not feeling good about myself…I had kind of done the same to my space. Why has this evaded me? Has there just been a massive point of no return? Where I have given up caring about not only my body and how I can dress it…but it seems also my home and yard with it?
What would happen if I gave up fighting with myself this summer about how much I weigh, how I look or what im gonna wear and devoted all of that energy instead to rolling up my sleeves and cleaning up and fussing on this home that I have been graciously given? What if my physical, emotional and spiritual self transformed in direct correlation to my feeling good about my living space as it had the other way around?
Am I crazy?