My house is never “company ready” – I do the last minute, fretful, cleaning. Clutter gets tossed into back rooms and closets. As I look at the dust, the cobwebs, the smudged windows, and the walls that need painting, I am reminded of how I am neglecting this space. Guilt nags at me. Shame – “I have failed. I’m not good enough” and by extension “My house isn’t good enough.”
I understand this is my own struggle. The people in my life do not judge me or my house. While I have made some progress in letting go of my harsh judgments and accepting myself and the reality of my space, still I feel stress anticipating visitors. I close doors to clutter and wake up early to clean.
A recent visitor was my 6 year old nephew. He embodies joyful living, effortlessly. He doesn’t visit often so this was a special treat. He was excited to explore my surroundings, and he asked to see my dusty, smelly basement, and to look behind the closed room doors.
I said “Yes”. I took this opportunity to be accepting of myself and my space. Here I am, dirt and clutter and all. In the way of 6 year olds, his enthusiasm reminded me that these spaces held some treasures, as well as messes. And that ultimately, none of it mattered. The time together, enjoying each other, was the precious gift.