Monday, January 14, 2008

Order out of chaos

Today felt a bit like the universe was saying, "Oh yeah? Let's see if you really mean that." After the joy of last week's spring cleaning, I've been stoked to tackle a few other organization projects that are ready and waiting for me around the house. First up? The linen closet. I never knew you could cram so much stuff into such a small space. It had gotten so bad that the past few weeks whenever I needed to put something in there, I would just open the door, take whatever was in my hand and shove it into the first available space. It was literally overflowing. It didn't feel like that long ago since I'd tackled at least the shelf with the medicines and toiletries, but it might as well have been last millennium with the state it was in. I vowed that no matter what else came up today, I would tackle that linen closet.

Remembering the last time I'd cleaned it out, I was thinking it was an hour long job, maybe two at the outside. I got in there and started pulling stuff out and pulling stuff out and pulling stuff out until I didn't have any place to put the contents any more. But I knew that the shelves needed to be cleaned off and the carpet vacuumed so I just kept going until the closet was completely empty... and my home was an absolute disaster. By the time the closet was clean and I was ready to even begin throwing things away, let alone putting stuff back in, I'd been working for over an hour. I was beginning to understand the enormity of the task I'd taken on and it was feeling completely overwhelming. I'd like to be able to say that I saw the gift in this situation as it was happening, but I didn't -- I ended up sharing my overwhelment with my mother and husband, aka complaining. My mother, in all her wisdom, reminded me that this experience was a metaphor for life -- sometimes you have to mess things up before you can start seeing the results you are looking for. Just what I needed to hear!

This is exactly the way life works. We recognize that things in our life aren't working out the way we want them to, but we know that change can be disruptive. Moving towards our goals might even make the things we already have and enjoy in our life appear to disappear, and so all too often we stay in a place that feels less than or stuck instead of taking the steps necessary to reach a place of freedom, of more. These small scale examples are life's reminders that even in the midst of great chaos, there is always a divine order waiting for us to discover it. So go ahead, make a big mess of things, it's okay. When you come out the other side all you will be able to see is how everything fits into place beautifully.

I really have to learn to take before shots for comparison purposes, but here's an after picture of my much calmer, orderly linen closet. Aaaah... definitely worth it!

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