Being at Peace With Your Messy Life

You pull up to work and park in the same spot you do every day. It’s Monday. You are about as far away from the weekend as possible. As you stroll to your cubicle you remember there were about ten things on your to do list this past weekend and you did one and a half of them.

photo credit: Liz Mc via creative commons

photo credit: Liz Mc via creative commons

As you open up your email you realize the one report you finished Friday is wrong. If there was a way to escape you would love to take the option.

Sometimes life goes like this doesn’t it? We strive to do everything right. We hold ourselves to an unrealistic standard. It’s not possible to be perfect, but when we find ourselves in a mess we get angry. Why are things not perfect? Why can we not go one day without something going wrong? Why do we not have enough time to do everything we need to do?

Life is a mess. It can be a perfect mess but most of the time it’s not.

Have you ever wanted to spend one day not doing anything? I have. If you aren’t doing anything you won’t be stressed. For me it looks like sitting on a beach in the Caribbean. I would take a few books with me. Take a notebook and a pen and read while watching the sun rise and set. The only worry throughout the day would be deciding how many Red Stripe’s I want to drink. I would get through one book. Probably spend an hour straight watching the crystal blue waves crash on the shore. Close my eyes and let the strong wind blow across my face. Look around at the other people and wonder where they came from and what kind of stories they have.

There is something I can’t pinpoint which makes the Caribbean more beautiful than anything else on Earth. It makes you wonder why God didn’t create the whole world like this. I want to ask him that one day. I mean mountains are cool. The Grand Canyon is pretty sweet. What’s your favorite though? To me it’s no contest.

As much perfection as I conjure up in my mind about the beach it isn’t perfect. I get badly burned unless I bathe in suntan lotion. The wind can blow so strongly I get sand in my eyes. It can be a mess.

Our days are similar. They are filled with angry drivers honking their horn at us when we sit a half second too long at a red light. It’s the refrigerator breaking and bills which are completely unexpected coming in the mail. How are we supposed to be at peace with this? It sucks sometimes. I want to drive as far away as possible. I want to do anything but stay in this mess I’m in. I want to give my problems away like Oprah gives away cars.

Life is about not only surviving the mess but thriving in the mess. We aren’t perfect yet we sometimes expect perfect lives. We know things go wrong but when they do and we are left in a mess we get angry.

We must give proper expectations to our messy life. It’s the only way to thrive. Throughout the past year I have learned about this. In order to overcome the big things we have to appreciate the little things. We have to appreciate trials. If you can’t find joy in the middle of your mess you will never find it in whatever mirage you create in your mind of what you think perfection is.

Embrace the mess.