I’m fully aware that not everyone places the same importance on various things, and that’s okay. Actually, that helps make life interesting – I often think of how much I like being me, but how sad I’d be if the rest of the world was also like me. Yet, there are a few areas where I sometimes wish the world leaned a little bit more in my direction. For instance, I don’t like having clutter around. It makes me feel like I can’t think clearly because the stuff that I see externally gets jumbled up with the stuff I’m thinking internally.
It took me a long time to realize this about myself – to realize that I was less overwhelmed with figuring out how to process my thoughts if the room around me was organized. That was super helpful for me and changed the way I lived my life. I am a much more organized, orderly person now and it definitely helps me live life more fully.
But eventually I began to realize that I might have a slight issue with just how much I like order and everything in its place.
One day I was having a picnic of mochi ice cream with a few of my friends in front of my wood burner. We were cozily sitting on the rug when I realized that we having bits of starch fall off our dessert onto the rug. As the conversation continued I felt like all I could see, all I could hear, were the crumbs so I jumped up and grabbed the sweeper to vacuum it.
“It’s okay Lydia, you can leave it,” my friend Anna told me. “It’ll be good for you,” she added after I gave her an imploring look.
And she was right, although didn’t want her to be. After that I began to pay attention to how I viewed messes and disorder. Before she pointed out the unreasonableness of my actions it hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I was too fastidious about keeping everything in order. Maybe it wasn’t balanced to want to make my friends pause their conversation and move out of the way so I could sweep up a few crumbs.
That seems to be the theme in my life.
I find out something about myself and when I’m aware of the issue everything gets so much better so I run full-tilt towards whatever action, habit, or goal. But then I have kind and caring friends and family who wisely point out the new issues I’ve created by trying to combat the previous issue I found out about.
The Bible talks about how iron sharpens iron and similarly how one person sharpens another. I’m so thankful that I have a whole host of people in my who will nicely point out where I need to grow and change because although I’d like to be perfect, the sad reality is that no one is even close.
So, these days I go about my life balancing my “need” for clutter-free spaces and the reality that humans are humans and healthy dosages of grace and leniency are important factors in every situation.
One thought on “Healthy Dosages of Leniency”
I’ve been realizing a similar thing in my own life. A little bit of clutter can sometimes even help make others feel more welcome. Staying in a place too neat just makes you feel like you can’t melt into any sort of coziness