Why are we so afraid of messes? Of coloring outside of the lines? Of being seen in our messy houses? Of being caught in a rough spot?
A mess symbolizes a few things to me:
1. That we are living.
2. That we’re working through something.
Most of us want to hide our messes. We don’t want other people to know that we have them.
We want them to see the loaf of fresh baked bread but not the two failed attempts and flour-covered kitchen. We want them to see the chiseled abs, but not the insecurity that fuels us. We want them to see the baby, not the broken fertility journey that led to it.
We work hard as we pile, stash, and disown these messes. We say, “I will deal with that later.”
And then we don’t. It just sits there. Rotting. Bubbling. Rising. Until we are ready.
Maybe you created it one day, maybe it was handed down to you, maybe it plopped into your lap like a big fat meatball from the sky.
That’s life—it’s fucking messy. And it is messy for all of us.
Everything is hard. And we are convinced that it is our duty to make it look easy as we sweep our proof of living right into the trash.
By not sharing our messes, we believe we are the only ones who have them. We buy into illusions.
A clean life and well-lived life don’t go hand-in-hand.
If there are no messes, there is no life, no living. If there are no messes, there is no progress towards something new, no creation.
Flour on the counter. French fries in the car seat. Sand in a bathing suit. Water on the floor. Dirt on the bottom of a tent. Paint splattered on a table. Crumpled pages in the trash. Dirty paws in the seat. Tears soaked on a tissue.
Whatever the mess is, own it, deal with it, become friends with it.
Bring it out into the living room and sit it there with it. Look at it.
Show it to others.
Instead of saying, “Look how perfect and polished my life is!” say, “Check out my fucking mess. This is my pile. What does your pile look like? Oh you have piles in the bedroom too? Shit. I thought I was the only one.”
As you go through your pile(s), you may find things that you never realized you have been carrying around with you. You may find hidden jewels you lost along the way. You may find whole piles that go straight into the garbage.
Who knows what your shit looks like. It’s your shit. That’s your job.
And my shit is my shit.
My point is, let’s stop being ashamed of the shit.
We all have our messes. But is mess really a dirty word like we think? Is it truly something to be ashamed of or is it a badge of honor, proof that we are living?
All of life’s most valuable experiences involve some sort of mess.
Messes are proof that we are alive and we are human.
So, going forward today, I not only embrace the mess, I welcome it.
Hello, Mess. Nice to meet you. I’m Brieanna. Let’s be friends.