Messy Us

How often it happens that some old friend decides to visit us but when we look around the room, we panic. Oh, Lord! I’ve been too busy to keep up with my chores. My room needs a top-to-bottom cleaning. What am I suppose to do now?   A usual sotto voce growled by most of us in such situations.

Like it or not, we burst into action. Tossing out old newspapers and magazines, stacking books and CDs neatly, and shoving stuffs into the closet. As the time of arrival gets closer and closer, we panic more because we don’t want our friends know about our messiness. We keep moving things here and there to hide our messes until our guest arrives.

Many times, the room doesn’t seem to be near the top-to-bottom clean we have wanted, but the visitor doesn’t get shocked. For one thing, since the person happens to be our old pal, he or she probably has a much more honest perspective about our “neatness” than perfectionist us. So, even when the things are not “perfectly” neat and in place, our friend doesn’t run shrieking away or run straight home.

Just like our rooms, our lives can be pretty messy sometimes…. and we don’t want anyone to notice. We usually reshuffle, change the subject, and talk about an area of our lives where everything is “perfectly” neat and clean. Sure it would be uncomfortable to share it with our friends and let our group hear about the messiness in our lives, but maybe, or perhaps, it wouldn’t be so bad. At times, it is OK for us to share a little bit of ourselves with others. Possibly, it might turn out that other people will also become willing to share their messiness, too. And in this way, we will learn to settle into each other’s less-than-perfect lives.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we want people to just drop by without letting us clean up first. And we are not going to spill our guts to our friends every week when we get together. But it is learning that part of growing in life, which is, being willing to acknowledge our weaknesses, working on them, and letting people in our lives share our journey.

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