“Why should I bother? No one is going to see it. It’s only me.”
As I listened to my friend make his case for never making his bed, I immediately understood. Why rush to do the dishes when there’s no one but you and your pet rabbit to see it? Who cares if there are crumbs in between the sofa cushions, when only you know they are there?
If a friend is dropping in for a chat, I dust the table top, trim the wick so the candle will light, and hang a fresh towel in the bathroom. Clothes slung over the footboard of the bed vanish into drawers. Piles of papers land in the recycle bin.
If there’s no one else in your home or your closet, you lack the everyday accountability buddy whose mere presence keeps you from leaving your bra and panties lying on the floor for the second day. But when you know the plumber will be beneath the kitchen sink, suddenly the trash bags, the sponges and the cleanser align as though Marie Kondo were dropping by.
He’s right. Why do I care whether I surround myself with a bit of clutter and chaos? Why do I deserve to come home to a tidy abode after a long day’s work? Why should I have clean sheets on my bed if I’m the only one in it? What’s wrong with shoving aside the stack of papers as I sit down to eat my eggs at my kitchen table?
Our human longing for order and beauty can stay hidden when we swim in a sea of messiness long enough. Like a fish in water, we no longer notice the environment we’re swimming in.
What I know about myself is that how I am being in the small things is often an indicator of how I am being in the big things, and observing something small gives me insight about the bigger aspects of my life.
If I’m overly critical of a client, it’s like I’m not being compassionate with my loved ones. If I’m not paying attention to my bank balance, it’s likely I’m not paying attention to health. If I’m rushing through my lunch, there’s a good chance I’m rushing through my life.
What would it be like if we could see ourselves worthy of having surroundings that reflect our true selves, our most beautiful selves? And what if we were to discover that a freshly made bed with clean sheets and fluffed pillows rocked our world?
Integrity is doing the right thing no one else is looking. This includes how we treat ourselves.
Is there an area of your life calling for your attention?
How are the big and the small in your life connected?
Are you willing to treat yourself like a welcomed guest?