What a mess!! I sit here in the middle of chaos. We are having new carpet installed in our house. Every room is filled with the stuff of our life--all in the wrong place. Professional carpet layers are crawling around on the floor making sure that all is done right. An industrial sized radio is blaring country music. What happened to my home?
So much of our feeling of well-being is related to the space we inhabit. Most of us work to create space where we feel safe and comfortable. The stuff we have is there to help us be what we want to be or remind us of what we have been. We arrange it and organize it so we can move with some comfort and ease. We organize our stuff in our house so it feels like home.
When that gets disrupted, we become anxious and sometimes hard to get along with. We don't like feeling so unsettled. It is hard not knowing where our coffee pot is.
Fortunately, this will end. The workers will leave this afternoon and we will begin to put our life back together. Some of the stuff will go back where it was. Other stuff will find a new home. Some will leave via the church thrift shop. In a few days, we will be back to some semblance of order.
Other disruptions and the ensuing chaos doesn't end as quickly. When we lose people who help our life feel ordered and safe, we get angry and feel scared. We are not just uncomfortable for a few days, but we may be disoriented for months or even years. The empty chair at the holiday table is not just painful, but it is frightening. We project that empty space into all the holidays in the future. It just doesn't feel good anymore.
Patience is an easy word to say and a terribly hard word to live. Yet, it takes a lot of it to endure the pain of the emptiness and find the energy to discover a new order in chaos we feel in the upheaval. It helps to find someone to share the space and the disorder with. Find someone to sit with and cry. Find someone to listen to you as you talk your way forward. Speaking about your pain and fear helps you order your emotions so that you can imagine a new order in your life.