I am battling roaches.
There, I’ve said it.
It’s my secret shame. Even as I type that, I wonder isn’t all of our shame secret. The judgment and pain we feel toward ourselves, fueled by circumstances or words of others, is hidden deep within us. Shame exists and expands in isolation. Whenever we feel that ours is a sole circumstance, we promote and nourish the shame that exists within us and within anyone else battling the same.
So the roaches are here. They have found their way into my home and are not keen on leaving. Everyday we are cleaning and organizing and researching the best and most natural ways to discourage their existence and cohabitation with us. Some days, I feel like we are making progress. Other days, I am weary of the fight.
When I wake in the morning and come into the kitchen, at the presence of light and movement, the roaches scatter. They don’t like the energy of life. They want to exist in the darkness.
We are back to shame again.
As this issue has brought words of screaming judgment to most areas of my life, I have known that I the way to move forward would be to share the battle, share the words of shame and let the light scatter the shame.
When I see the roaches, this is what my shame is telling myself.
“You are a terrible housekeeper. How could you neglect your home and let this happen? Instead of spending your time painting or working, you should have been taking care of this kitchen. How could you let his happen? What mother doesn’t make their home a priority for herself and her children? If anything is going to be done, you have to do it and if you aren’t doing it, it doesn’t get done. Therefore, this home has fallen into disarray because you quit caring.”
None of that is true.
But that is the tape that is playing in my head, over and over.
Today, I am changing the tape.
I am not a terrible housekeeper. Our home is lived in all the time. There is not a time of the day that someone isn’t here. It is not perfect and I am sure it could be cleaner if I wanted to spend all of my time doing that. But it is clean enough and straight enough. The only thing that is missing in my home right now is color. If I have neglected anything over the years, I have neglected to satisfy my desire for beauty and color. My focus was so heavy on functional and organized … and clean … that I didn’t take time to create my home. I am changing that now.
One of the ways that I am changing that is that I am nurturing my creativity. Painting makes me feel alive so I am make time and space for that. Working at the bookstore is fulfilling and gives me some extra cash to do the things that I want to do for myself, in my home and with my family. That is not only ok but a good thing.
Having a bug issue does not reflect in any way how I am as a mother or a person. Nor does having a spotless house. This is just a circumstance. That is all.
I am doing nothing on my own. I know that sometimes I feel like that and I even throw that accusation around from time to time. I realize that my frustration is misplaced. It is just a circumstance. The reality is that the children have been quite helpful in keeping things neater and cleaner. My husband has not only helped by taking on some of the organizational projects this has brought to the surface but has dealt with my emotional breakdowns along the way.
So there we go. I have made my great confession and I feel much lighter for having done so. I will continue to battle the roaches but with a renewed energy and without the burden of judgment. More importantly, I will continue to nurture my creativity and relationships because in the end those are what matter most.
And this is not at all what I sat down to write about but I am learning that just like my painting, I have to follow my intuition. Intuitive painting leads to intuitive blogging. Fearless painting leads to fearless blogging.