Sometimes I hate that life is messy. Even though heart and soul know that growing and changing REQUIRE some rearranging of the parts, my head gripes when everything seems suddenly jumbled and unmanageable (not fitting my pictures of how things are supposed to be).
Growing up I didn’t ever get the message that life was just plain messy. It was always important that we looked good, that we seemed to have everything nice and neat.
Somehow I was under the impression that once you grew up, everything just rolled along. Smoothly. Neatly. You grew up, got married, you raised a family. The “daddy” went to work and supported the family. The mommy did the mommy things. In my family, there was never any yelling or fighting or even any disagreements that I remember – except between my sister and myself – and those were squelched pretty quickly.
I experienced some childhood traumas and some deep inner wounds, but somehow thought that when I became an adult, something magical would happen, and my life would just roll along, too.
In retrospect, I see how deluded I was. We had a bunch of problems. There weren’t any fights because Dad ruled the roost. Mom didn’t have a say. If she had a differing opinion, she kept it to herself. Or drank herself into her quiet place (which, of course, I thought was normal). Dad worked hard and was a good provider, but he didn’t have much to do with us – especially since we were girls.
Overprotected, I didn’t wind up facing a lot of the consequences that would have brought me up short, had I had to deal with them. But it saved “face” for the family. Mom would tell me that I lived in a fantasy world, but I didn’t really have any idea what she meant.
When I left home, I was in for a rude awakening. I had no idea that I was almost completely unprepared for the real world. For real work, real marriage, real motherhood, real life.
Life was definitely not turning out the way it was supposed to. It was not going smoothly or neatly and I felt like a complete failure. What in the world was I doing wrong??
Then one day, I heard some artist or creative say that life is messy. Like that was just a fact of life. A truth. WHAT??
Something in me broke open. “Life is messy.“ I desperately wanted to believe that. I wanted to know it was normal, natural and very much okay to do things messy, to have things in life just be messy. Maybe then my life would make a lot more sense.
And, of course, it does. Knowing that growth and change will disassemble a tidy, safe, little life helps. I still don’t have it all the in my bones, because there are days that I don’t LIKE the mess in my own life – much less having to show up, vulnerable and oh-so-messy. (Boy, that need to look good, at least on the outside, has a tenacious grip!)
But I notice that when I’m not spending so much effort trying to keep things together and looking good, there’s a lot more energy for joy, enthusiasm, and the good things in life.
Viva la mess!