In a recent conversation with my sister about cleaning the bathroom I've come across a thought that provoked an understanding of a truth. The two of us just moved back into my Mom's house after we graduated from college, a seemingly common theme with our generation as a result of the economy, or an attempt to prolong adulthood. I discovered that we have two very different perspectives on how things should be cleaned. I find things clean when they are clean and organized on inside and as a result are clean on the outside, she thinks that as long as they look good on the outside it doesn't matter what they look like on the inside.
My mind takes me everywhere during conversations such as this but this time it led me to think of how we present ourselves to the world. We are all messy on the inside, all of us going through life, surviving, thriving, hurting, suffering all simultaneously but separately. I believe what makes us different is if we try to "clean" ourselves up so that we are organized enough to recognize the mess on the inside, or do we shove things to the back of the cabinet hoping that we won't have to worry about them because we don't see them. I've done both of these when it comes to attempting to heal my wounds from the past. But I have to say that either way they come back and really mess things up, maybe even ruin things because they leak onto other areas where the leak didn't need to spill. Like accidentally shoving a shampoo bottle that is half open to the back to discover it seeped all over the toilet paper. Or discovering that when we attempt to put our messes together and forget to screw the cap on tight enough, it explodes mid air in the airplane to later discover that the mess that you put with your nice stuff gets ruined when it's shoved into an area that can't hold its pressure.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to get to right now... but maybe I'm saying that when we don't clean out our lives from the inside out, we let the crap from our past leak unto the present and it gets messy, more messy than it should have it we would have dealt with the mess when it was right in front of us. Relationships are really tough, old ones and new ones haunt us with words that shouldn't have been said or that could have been said differently... the new ones haunt us with the ideas and possibilities that this new person is beginning to have the great capacity to hurt us deeply, again. But if we don't deal with the mess and shove it to the back of our hearts, it will explode over something that we didn't want it to. When we shove it back and try to ignore it we begin to be led by fear that the mess may manifest itself in a different way and end up really hurting us. What if we weren't led by fear but by love knowing that if we expose our mess with pure honesty with ourselves and those around us, asking forgiveness when we need to and forgiving others... then we build trust and trust we can love, and perfect love drives out fear.. so then we can deal with each other's messes together knowing that we are going to deal with it now, clean it up and if it spills again then we will clean it up again.. but the point is we have to expose our mess in order for anything to change. We can't keep shoving it to the back and hoping no one will see it, attempting to look perfect on the outside. Expose your mess so that in time, in faith and in trust we learn to heal...because we are ALL messy on the inside.