Life is Messy

Yes, life is messy. From the moment we’re born, our lives are immersed in mess. Messy comes in every size, shape and situation. Messy can be on a global scale, as we are currently witnessing with the surging masses of refugees pouring out of Syria into every nook and cranny of the world.

Messy can be on a municipal level, as the transit system comes to a complete halt during morning rush hour throughout the city, causing 3-4 hours of delay for thousands of workers heading back to work and thousands of new students heading to their first day of school and university after summer holidays.

Messy can be on a neighbourhood level, as the Tuesday morning garbage truck inexplicably leaves behind a putrid, ugly, bug-infested swath of wet food garbage strewn across the the street. I have pictures. Too disgusting to post here.

And messy can be on a very personal level, as we deal with everything from the mundane spills and grubby footprints on a newly-washed floor to life-changing physical ailments, from scary messes like the car window being smashed by senseless vandalism (yes, that happened to us this past weekend) to the less tangible messes of tangled knots of mangled thoughts wrestling us to the edge of the quicksand of anxiety and futility…daunting in the face of all of these other messes clamouring for our attention, quick fixes and generosity of both heart and wallet.

Looking out the window, both literally and figuratively, I could quite easily see only mess, one continuous gigantic heap of writhing, seemingly inescapable unresolvable mess.


BUT, I’ve been working on changing my mindset and attitude, so “Messy” isn’t all I see anymore. Yes, life is messy, the world is a mess, the city is a mess, our neighbourhood is a mess and I’m still working on that mess up there in my attic. Sometimes it feels like I’m not moving very quickly, sometimes it feels like I’m stagnating. But if I really am mindful and honest, I’m moving, forward, upward, outward…slowly but surely rising above the mess of constant angst and anxiety that used to cripple me into dysfunction and debilitation.

For instance, this morning. For most of my life, mornings have been a struggle to face. In fact, there have been far too many mornings that I chose not to face. But I’ve been working on that, for many years now, working to rebuild for myself a life I enjoy waking up to, a life I’m okay with facing. There is still ambiguity…there is still a wee little voice in me that whispers, “not sure I can do this today”, and even sometimes outright fear and panic at the thought of having to get myself through. Those are old tapes, old thought patterns, old angsts that still need to be weeded out and thrown away for good. I keep tossing them away, but like most messes, they just keep coming back in need of more tending and cleaning and fixing.

I’m on it. Because that’s no longer the only voice I hear whispering inside of me now. Now I hear “New day! Wow! That’s an incredible sunrise, how lucky am I to have awakened just in time to see the most glorious part of it?! Just look at all of the possibilities lying ahead of me today, all the treasures waiting for me as the day unfolds…I’m so blessed and glad to be alive. Thank You, Lord!”

Sometimes I question which one of those voices is the most authentic me. Is it the old voice of fear and trembling? That was me, that was the seemingly real me at one time. Or is it the new voice of hope and gratitude. That’s who I WANT to be, that’s who I’m rebuilding myself to be. Is it enough to want it? Will wanting it so badly that I do everything and anything to propel myself in that direction be what fixes the mess inside of me?

Because if I can fix the mess inside of me, maybe there’s hope for the other messes out there to be fixed. I have to hope, it’s the only alternative to succumbing to futility and apathy, neither of which will ever fix any mess.

I believe that most messes can be cleaned up, fixed, even made beautiful again. I even dare to go so far as to say that GOOD can be found in those messes! Yes, I believe that good can – and WANTS to be found, even in the chaos and tangles of the most daunting mess.

Life is messy, but we’re capable and strong enough to handle most messes that life throws at us. As long as we don’t give up, but keep rebuilding ourselves, our homes, our neighbourhoods, our cities, our world into what we want them to be, into the best they can be, into the good that can emerge from the mess.

It’s not easy. It’s not always easy to let that voice of hope and gratitude speak against the voices of futility and discouragement. But we start where we are, with whatever messes we’re facing today, with whatever we CAN do here and now.

Underneath all the mess, I believe that it’s still truly a beautiful world out there. Inside and out.

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Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2015. All rights reserved.
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About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
This entry was posted in ambiguity, anxiety, coping, courage, depression, despair, determination, empowerment, mental health and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Life is Messy

  1. chfu170996 says:

    your right life can be messy, but I think that we all have to deal with that mess at certain points, I love your blog and it would mean a lot if you could check, out mine and maybe even leave some feedback 🙂 p.s I love the way you strucutre your writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon says:

      Chfu, thank you so much for visiting and for your comments. I read a couple of your posts and am looking forward to reading more later this evening. You write beautifully, and I want to read more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cicorm says:

    As they say, “Peace comes from within” : )


  3. cicorm says:

    Welcome! We all are working to improve ourselves… Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angelika Schwarz says:

    Messy…. turns into a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when cleaned up. Today my granddaughter was to be picked up to go home, after spending 2 weeks at our house. Her room was such a mess; we could hardly see the floor. I told her the trick is to pick up something, anything, and simply put it where it has to be. Don’t organize it first, or move it to another mess… we put on some cool music, and did exactly that. We were finished cleaning after half an hour. She was so happy; she danced pirouettes on her ‘clean ‘rug. I wonder if this works with all our muddled thoughts too. Just wondering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon says:

      Angelika, I love this story! I used to get so overhwhelmed by big messes when I was a child…until I learned that secret of just starting to clean up one thing, and then the next, and then the next. I too used to bring my record player into the kitchen where I had to do all the dishes for a family of six by myself. I’d put on my favourite records, and do one dish at a time, even dance to the music sometimes. The dishes usually took me over an hour to finish, but with the music, dancing and doing it one thing at a time, it wasn’t so bad. I did those dishes, always by myself, almost every night for about nine years. That taught me that when the mess is overwhelming, just break it down into smaller more manageable chunks. That works for the muddles in my mind too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Angelika Schwarz says:

    Oh dear Sharon. Dishes for six can be quite a pile…and imagine the stack accumulating in nine years! I used to do the dishes with my mother. We would sing together. Those were some of the most precious moments with her…and we were working while doing it. 🙂 … Yes, I would think that breaking down thoughts in manageable chunks could work too. “Just stow those muddles in the right place away. There now…they are cleaned up.” she said while clapping her hands like two cymbals together.

    Liked by 1 person

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