Lately, people have appeared on my path who somehow found themselves living in chaos and disarray. Although the causes may be different, the outcomes are the same: disorder, confusion, resulting apathy, discouragement and finally, depression. When people show up on my path in succession like that, its because the Universe is asking me to do something to help and as a result, learn new realities I was not aware of. Here is what I have learned so far.
1. Just because a person finds themselves in this state does not mean they are less of a beautiful soul. Leaving them to their own resources or viewing them as lazy, dirty, bad or whatever just compounds the situation. If they knew how to fix this, they would have already. Usually, it is beyond them and overwhelming. They already have enough shame of their own and don’t need more.
2. All of the folks I have met so far have some common characteristics of this disfunction. They are unable to partmentalize the mess so they just see it as huge and overwhelming with no clues where to start. There are no warning systems letting them know when they are creating more chaos ie. Never putting things away, jumping from one thing to another with no completion of the first job or task, leaving things where they drop, difficulty letting go of things and viewing everything as important even if its garbage to anyone else, addiction to shopping often, a need to aquire more while forgetting they already have a dozen of that item, not seeing the chaos clearly or how its growing until too late. Unrealistic clean up goals, promises to others that are untenable so constantly breaking promises and then needing to isolate oneself. Getting in trouble or kicked out as a result of the deterioration of the home or living quarters.
3. Lessons I learned that Helped
1. Respect the person as an equal partner in this healing relationship. Ask others who are supportive and willing to help be on the team. All consultations need to involve the person in question.. Find a balance between honest firmness and gentle, kind understanding. Be a true friend. Beware of the tendancy to resist by telling you what they think you want to hear, making promises they don’t keep, delay tactics, not accepting ideas about parting with their stuff. Roll with it and don’t use force but be honest, realistic and hold their feet to the fire around promises or commitments. Ask them to really evaluate their promise before establishing it as a fact.
2. Step into the chaos with teamates and designate how the clean up is going to work. Pick the most crucial room, the kitchen and break it up into catagoroes. A. Move junk out of room. B. Cleanin counters, sink, fridge etc.C. Wash floor. D. Make pretty with flowers or whatever. Make sure the owner is working along with the team and everyone is assigned a job. When completed, ask owner to look at how beautiful it is and to see the whole picture, the whole room. Ask “what would make this an even better picture?” Listen to the answer and see how it can be achieved. This gives them training for seeing the big picture and a sensd of ownership. This process can be used for each room. Doing things in catagories really helps.
3. When sorting through a catagory, books for instance, collect them all in one place and go through each one asking this question. ” does this item make me happy? Do I really need it? Would it make someone else happier?” My next post will go in to more steps. Stay posted.