Friday, July 18, 2014

A Good Cleaning

      I took a walk around my cabin this morning and realized there are several ways to clean a house. For the past three weeks, I've tackled a room and cleaned till everything gleams like a polished silver tray. I devoted a few hours each morning. Now, every room is complete, yet as I sit here writing, I realize I did not clean enough, for cleaning also means discarding the unnecessary, the overflowing, the superfluous one has accumulated through the years. I did not discard one item.
     As I consider my house, I am forced to consider my personal house. The one that resides in my brain. Every human being has many rooms in our mental home that we should clean just as thoroughly as our concrete house.
      Over the years I have brought home fun items that in retrospect suck the energy out of my home. There are items that require too much attention and too much space4. I think that sometimes I do the same thing with people and with causes. Am I the only one who feels the need to clean out each room in my mind? Perhaps not.
      Here are some rooms you might want to consider that will ultimately sap your energy as well. There's one room in my house called guilt. This one needs to be fumigated! It is filled to the brim with enough junk that I don't even know where to begin. The next room is regret - it consists of things I should have said or done, and they clutter and spill over. I should call Goodwill and have them pick up the excess. The ugliest room of all, for me, is resentment. This is the room that takes away my blame and places it on someone else's back. It causes me to be a victim instead of a survivor.
     There are plenty of other rooms but I'm already exhausted thinking about how much cleaning I have left. Friends and family tell me they have just as many rooms except perhaps they don't express it in these terms; after all, I'm the English teacher who creates metaphors of everything and whose every other sentence is, "let me give you an analogy" (my husband hates when I say that)!
 But don't we all have garbage or luggage or whatever you want to call it? Of course we do. The problem is that few of us are introspective enough to admit it and then proceed to clean out those rooms, that house, that luggage. We pretend everything is fine, never seeing anything but the superficial, pretty house. Maybe every Spring, from now on, everyone should clean the mind as well as the house. I know I will.

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