Cleaning the Rust: Two Secret Practices to Help You Live Lighter and More Free
I met a man recently who had complained that his house was really dirty. He said he had deep cleaned it some time ago and had given lots of effort to keep everything in its place. Despite his detailed orderliness, dust had gathered all over the surface of his things and his experience reminded me of a basic truth that we just can’t avoid. That is that passing time in life has a way of breaking down any being. Leave something outside for a month and you will see. The elements of our life (sun, rain, or air) have a way of rusting all surfaces. If left alone to bear the conditions, the metamorphosis into something old, tired, and broken is hard to ignore.
Short of staying indoors and blocking ourselves completely off from all of the world’s ‘elements’, how is it that some manage to stay bright, shiny and new?
The answer is quite simple, but rarely ever done.
First: It begins with a thorough ‘house cleaning’ to clear the dirt accumulated throughout the totality of our life. My experience working with members in twelve step programs reminds me most of this step. Faced with a life-threatening affliction, those in recover are taught to clear out the pain left by resentments of the past and make amends for instances where they have done another wrong. But the beauty in these steps does not have to go solely to the addicted. Living a life of humility and forgiveness is a gift that can be given to us all. Working with a friend or trusted mentor to get honest about the mess of our lives, is often the first step to getting everything back in order. Making a list with them and taking action steps to let go of what haunts us is often a most necessary part of living our lives in the now. Once the step of cleaning up our past mistakes has been completed, the rest of the work just lies in keeping our internal homes clean.
Second: It’s not enough to do a ‘once-over’ and just leave life to dust us and rust us again. We have the daily opportunity to commit mistakes and repair them, forgive ourselves and others for what went wrong. Daily we have the opportunity to reflect on how we handled things, recognize what we did right and what we could have done better. This is not about condemnation, guilt, shame, or even self-congratulations; on the contrary. It’s just about creating an awareness of our experiences, so that these experiences may guide the future of our days.
So many of us live in such hectic worlds, that this level of self-analysis seems darn near impossible. The lack of willingness with this idea alone is in fact the stumbling block that stands in most people’s way. Life affords us the ability to make priorities and we cannot change the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day. Yes there are countless duties we cannot avoid, but where in our list of ‘to-dos’ are doing the very things that can grant us the most peaceful, happy, and healthy life? We can accomplish one million things in work, school, or home, but if we’re lacking in the basic joy and freedom that comes from living an existence clean and clear from the rust of past, what may I ask, was the point of it all?
To learn more about cleaning the rust from your past, so that you find freedom, peace, and happiness, contact Andrea Vielma, MA, at www.Alma-Vida.Com
Andrea Vielma, MA LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in the unique needs of high-functioning individuals. She provides uniquely tailored and eclectically inspired transformational personal coaching or therapy services to help identify and remove personal blocks to fulfillment, happiness and joy.