Letting Go of Your Obsession
I am a cleaner … I like things clean. But compared to my wife I am a rank amateur! She cleans things like the top of door frames. (Who does that?) And when she’s done the house smells of bleach (Her cleaning weapon of choice) When house cleaning time comes my assignment is the bathrooms. Don’t know why this is but I seem to have a gravitational pull toward the toilet. In fact, in a former life, I received a mug award from Starbucks for my toilet cleaning prowess. And that would be fine with me but there is one thing, the bane of my cleaning existence, which I can’t seem to defeat. That one thing is hair!
My wife has an abundance of hair and we have a dog that never stops shedding. So I get the white porcelain spotless, I have floors gleaming and I step back to survey my handiwork. Bam! I spot it, strands of hair casually draping themselves on the toilet seat giving me that “you can’t get me” look! So I take out my rag prepare to do battle when I notice that my rag has hair clinging to the fibers. So I go to wash the rag in the “clean” sink and bam! The hair attaches its self to the sink. At this point, I choose the surgical approach and pluck one by one the individual strands and when I do they seem to magnetically attach themselves to my fingers. So I shake my fingers violently over the trash can only to have them fly off and land again on the toilet seat. It’s discouraging and demotivating, after all, if I can’t get it really clean what’s the use?
Have I told you how much I hate hair? I am seriously considering a Shandade O’Connor/ Yule Brenner look in our home!
Why do a few strands of hair bother me so much? The bathroom is 99.99% clean – so what’s up with this obsession with 100%?
Then, I think about the “few strands of hair” in other areas of my life that I may obsess about. The areas that aren’t perfect and will likely never be perfect. Some of these strands are the people around me. These “strands of hair” mostly consist of my desire for others to be, think or act a certain way.
But most of these “strands” consist of my internal focus on the way I think I “should” be. You know what I’m talking about. I should be more disciplined, focused, social, productive and on and on and on. I am constantly finding strands of hair on the white porcelain of my soul and I can’t seem to pluck them off. That’s because they are always going to be there. For just as I have hair messes in the bathroom because I am a living breathing imperfect being who lives with other living breathing imperfect beings who produce hair! We are always going to have areas in our lives that are messy.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to work on cleaning up the messes but when we fixate on the “strands of hair” in our lives we end up losing perspective and sacrificing our happiness because - perfection is impossible.
So I’m going to make a new resolution. I am going to celebrate the beautiful parts of my life and not fixate on the messy parts. I am going to pluck the hairs when I see them but not obsess when they are not entirely eliminated. I am going to give myself grace and mercy and the confidence that life is a journey, not a destination.
Somehow, when I do this it gives me greater strength to deal with the messy parts and lifts the heavy load of expectations off my shoulders so I can truly enjoy the awesome beauty of this precious moment.
What “strands of hair” are you living with in your life? What things are you fixating on and making a condition for happiness?
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