Cleaning up Messes

imagesCleaning up Messes

So you are at the breakfast table with a group of friends & family, your hand accidentally hits the pot of tea and it spills over the table, or you were fighting to do the news paper crossword puzzle with your friend, or just maybe you were trying to manage a tantrum thrown by your son, and suddenly the cup tips over.

There is tea all over the table and it probably finds its way over to your friend’s mobile phone. The crossword puzzle can now be forgotten because the paper is soaking sticky wet.

So this is the situation. People at the table don’t look too happy,
they now have to watch out for your mess spilling down the edges of the table to their clothes.

What do you notice ?

Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously a mess got created by you.

What would you do? Worst, you inwardly beat yourself up about it even before anyone would bring attention to it, Would you brush it off as something that just happened, and ask everyone to get down to cleaning up the mess? Get down to work and have the problem fixed? Would you not address it at all?

Or would you pause for a moment and look at all these people, and give a simple apology for the unintentional accident and tell them that you are sorry for the inconvenience caused. Or the interruption because of this. A lot of them might not even have noticed it.

That is called staying. “Staying” here means being present and staying present with what is created, with what you created. Staying means staying to hear people express their anger, shock, and not happy feeling about the sticky mess on their hands and clothes and an interruption to their dinner. Staying means to hear them, be able to have them feel heard, having to say your truth and honouring and respecting them. Staying to clean up and asking for help. Staying is also not beating yourself up and punishing yourself about it. Staying also means to not justify what happened and finding someone or something to blame for the little accident.

This is the hard part. To be able to stand and own your mess, and offer a way to clean up the mess and most importantly, asking for help. The reality is, messes are meant to be cleaned up, not ignored.

The seemingly easy part is to walk away and say: “Big deal! So some milk got spilled! What’s the big deal, it’s only tea”. Some of your clothes are wet and stained, the newspaper is soaked

What would you do?

Staying and cleaning up messes are just two of the many lessons I am learning right now. “Asking for help” and “Recovery” are other huge ones ones.

Asking for help is a Big one. Asking for help is knowing you can’t do it all and also you don’t have to, that you get stuck at times and its okay to put your arms out and ask for help. Asking for help is not about being perfect. Asking for help is about opening your heart , asking and receiving.

We have grown up believing that the only time we can ask for help is when we absolutely have reached the end of our ropes and when we fully exhausted our resources. Asking only makes us bigger and teaches people around us to be there for us.

Recovery is a another powerful one.
To recover is to reset. To recover is look back at what we did, and if we feel that we hadn’t taken responsibility, to go back and own it. To go back and say – “Oops ! I could have done better there. I am sorry.” Often we don’t do it because it makes us look small. I believe that it only makes us bigger and better when we recover. Its just as simple as that.

Lets get over ourselves !

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