Some thoughts on thoughts . . . I have heard it said that we act according to what we really believe, not necessarily according to what we say we believe. So, I have been doing some thinking about what false beliefs I have had that have kept me in my mess, and what the truth is that will help get me out of it. I don't know how this will relate to any of you here, but, anyway, here's how it is for me.
I used to wonder how I could go through so much emotional healing in various areas of my life, yet it never seemed to affect the state of my house long term, or my ability to deal with it. Now, when I look at all the lies I have been believing and acting on over the years, I can see what has been going on. I never applied any of that healing to how I dealt with my house because. . .
- . . .I thought that doing housecleaning was just about cleaning up my physical environment and had nothing to do with emotions (LIE).
- . . .Then it was easy to tell myself that I needed to ignore housecleaning COMPLETELY, in order to deal with my emotions (LIE).
- . . .Then it was easy to see my mess as my refuge, and believe that not dealing with it was keeping me together emotionally (LIE).
- . . .Whenever I would get the inclination to do something about cleaning up, I could stop that by telling myself either that everything was just fine because my mess was helping me deal with my emotional struggles (see previous LIE), or that certain things had to be in perfect order BEFORE I did housework -- eg. my emotions had to be TOTALLY resolved, I had to be able to get EVERYTHING done at once, doing small amounts didn't count, etc. (LIES).
- . . .Since my house was not up to my perfectionistic standards, I believed that this was an indication that I personally was a horrible, hopeless, unfixable mess (LIE).
- . . .Of course, believing that made everything seem overwhelming, because I believed that such a hopeless case as myself would also be totally incompetent, doomed to failure, and therefore it was pointless to waste my time and energy doing anything (LIE).
- . . .At this point, I would usually realize I needed help, but would not reach out, because I didn't think anyone would understand, or care, or even want to help such a terrible person as me (LIE).
- . . .Having sabotaged any possible motivation or ability I had to clean up, I could clean only when I was upset enough, either when I was angry at my own seeming lack of ability, or when I was afraid of how others might react if they knew. I would mentally beat up on myself the entire time, thus reinforcing LIES, and turning cleaning itself into self-abuse.
- . . .Of course, by the time my burst of activity was over, urged on by severe mental whipping, I was not only physically exhausted, but emotionally bruised as well. . . .which led back to . . .
- . . ."needing" to ignore housecleaning in order to deal with emotions (LIE).
. . A VICIOUS CIRCLE.
So, now I am trying to replace all those lies with the truth. I know now that...
- . . .Dealing with housecleaning has to do with BOTH emotions and taking care of physical space. (TRUTH)
- . . .I need to deal with BOTH emotions and physical space, not just one or the other, or I will have more to deal with, not less (TRUTH).
- . . .Not dealing with my mess does NOT keep me together emotionally. Dealing with my emotions keeps me together emotionally. Not dealing with my mess only takes away energy and adds more issues to deal with. I need God to be my refuge. My mess can't do that job (TRUTH).
- . . .Life is a process, not a finished work of perfection, so it is perfectly fine to not do everything at once, or to not have everything resolved. Every little step counts (TRUTH).
- . . .My house is not me. Even when my house is a mess, I am still a worthwhile, valuable person (TRUTH).
- . . .Since I am valuable and worthwhile, I am also capable of doing some things. It is worth it to try, because I may succeed. But, if I do nothing, nothing will happen. Even if I try, and fail, I am still valuable, and I can try again (TRUTH).
- . . .I am not alone. Others have been where I am, so they understand, others do care and do help by encouraging me. Just look at all the people on this thread (TRUTH).
- . . .I can clean when I'm calm, not just when I'm upset, because I don't need to be driven by lies anymore. I can clean because it is part of what I need to deal with in life. I can clean because I care about myself and others. I have energy to clean because I'm not wasting it by beating myself up, but I am encouraging myself by telling myself the TRUTH.
- . . .Since I have built up BOTH myself and my house (through encouragement and attention) instead of tearing BOTH down (through mental self-abuse and neglect), I have more energy and motivation to keep going.
- . . .which brings me back to. . .
. . .Dealing with BOTH emotions and housecleaning. . . A VICTORIOUS CIRCLE!