Visualize the destination, she says. And so I do. When my home is tidy, I say to myself, there will be room to stretch, and I’ll eat better, and I’ll be thinner, and I’ll do breast massage, and I’ll be healthier, and my business will flourish even more, and we’ll travel more, and I’ll be better…at everything, and he’ll love me more, and they’ll love me more and I’ll love me more and even if they all stop loving me more, I’ll still love me more and then I’ll never be lonely. Or unloved.

So yeah, I think I can pitch that vase.

You’re the impeccable housewife, the diligent housemaid, she says. You seek a spotless emotional realm. (God, how did she get so smart? I make a note to add “I’ll be smart” to my list of outcomes when my house is tidy.)

She’s right. Of course. I tidy and scrub my metaphorical house with joy, until it gleams with great swaths of sunshine. I sit back, Instagram it, and toast myself for a job well-done, a life well-lived. Until I spy a dirty smudge of sadness and apply a hefty dose of reframing onto a rag of tenacity and scrub ‘til my arm can scrub no more.

A gleaming psyche that sniffs of zesty lemony freshness in the most satisfying way is what I want, to be sure.

 

ScrubbingThe problem, of course, is that I am not alone in my emotional house. Someone always shows up with muddy boots…and I let them in. (I make a note to add “I’ll stop being a people pleaser” to my list of outcomes of a tidy home.)

So my house never stays clean. There will always be the scuffs and smears and drips and wrinkles of life going on. It will never.EVER.be.clean.

 

 

++++

Sort by category, not by location, she says.

Oh…so this is why things are chronically untidy. I’ve been sorting by location my whole life…so all the shit in the same category gets moved from one room to the next.

Things I thought I dealt with already in one bathroom are repeated in the next.

Didn’t I already pitch a water glass? No, that was in the upstairs bathroom.

What I was supposed to do was an entire house sweep for all glasses, then gather them all.

From every room, every closet, every box, every corner. Pull them all out, out, out.

All.

Survey the pile. Then pitch the glasses that no longer bring me joy.

Then all the clothes. From every room, every closet, every box, every corner. Pull them out, out, out.

All.

Survey the pile. Then pitch the clothes that no longer bring me joy.

Then all the magazines. Then all the books. Then all the knick knacks. Then all the toys. Then all the mementos.

From every room, every closet, every box, every corner. Pull them out, out, out. Survey the piles. Pitch from there. Pitching all that no longer brings me joy.

And then my house will be tidy.

++++

Thoughts I thought I dealt with already in one area of my heart are repeated in the next. Didn’t I already pitch by belief of notenoughness in my business? No, that was in my parenting.

What I was supposed to do was an entire emotional realm sweep for all notenoughnesses, then gather them all.

From every room, every closet, every box, every corner. Pull them all out, out, out.

All.

Survey the pile. Then pitch the notenoughnesses that no longer serves my joy.

Then all the fear. Then all the anger. Then all the betrayal. Then all the frustrations. Then all the disappointments.

And then my emotional house will be tidy.

When my house is tidy, there will be room to stretch, and I’ll eat better, and I’ll be thinner, and I’ll do breast massage, and I’ll be healthier, and my business will flourish even more, and we’ll travel more, and I’ll be better…at everything, and he’ll love me more, and they’ll love me more and I’ll love me more and even if they all stop loving me more, I’ll still love me more and then I’ll never be lonely. Or unloved.

So yeah, I think I can pitch that belief.

And then everything will gleam. Until someone walks in with muddy boots.

Really, though: what SHALL I make for dinner?

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