Remember what it was like as a kid to make a mess? We knew our parents would clean it up. We could play in the dirt and make mud pies, or use the playdoh to create new creatures and objects. Sometimes the art we created would never be in a museum, but it reflects the wonder and animation that we bottled up. Then we begin to grow up, and those messes take on new shapes and forms. Let’s think back to when many of you had small children. The kids loved to create all kinds of messes that you dreaded cleaning up. As they age, you’d give almost anything to have those moments in time frozen. As we age, we find that we encounter different types of messes that kids and ourselves create. No longer are they a product of art. Those messes appear in the form of relationships, mistakes, unbalances, poor choices, and adventure.
Want some examples? Years ago, I worked for a mattress company as a contract employee. I started in the RA department (Return Authorizations) and worked my way up to a Territory Manager position. I groomed to go more into a management role so that I would become a more permanent employee. I went out with friends to celebrate the promotion because I knew it would mean permanent placement within a small window of time. I went out and purchased some professional clothes so I could continue my climb up. Four weeks after my promotion, every contract employee lost their job. Corporate sent a company-wide email stating that all temporary employees were being let go due to downsizing. My heart dropped out of my chest. I had spent money I didn’t have and couldn’t get a refund, the temporary agency had no other work options, and I was in a bind. This issue occurred during a time that I couldn’t get a job in anything. I had no way to pay on my car, insurance, or other bills—what a mess.
In hindsight losing my job then gave me back so much more. I was able to find work before the collection agencies started hounding me. That hasn’t always been the case. I lost one job three weeks before Christmas and decided to go into business for myself. When I researched the company I went with; I had not found poor reviews on them. It was only after months of struggling with this company that I began to get my eyes opened. The biggest issue was now I was even more in debt. My messes kept getting bigger.
I don’t think you could get any more flatter than the prospects I had in my personal life on the relationship side. While I try not to judge others, I have found myself on more than one occasion looking at different men who expressed interest as nowhere near good enough. The reason? Some of them were more messed up than I was. They had gotten out of relationships and found too many answers to life’s mysteries in bottles, weed, and other drugs. That may sound stuck to some people, but I choose not to get involved with people who are addicted to narcotics and alcohol. One man tried to blow up the place I was working, and this was after I agreed to go out with him. I didn’t go out with him after that incident. Attempting to blow up a place with people in it is an automatic turn-off for me. Keep in mind that I agreed to go out with some men after the one I wanted seemed to be appearing to be a wish and not reality. It was only after recognizing that many of the “dates” I agreed to that I began to realize I was attracting the wrong types of men. I let my self-confidence take a nose-dive with the one I wanted and didn’t see my worth. I’ve learned being alone isn’t a bad thing. When I find a person that not only has flaws but is willing to work together, then I’ll know that my waiting for the right person wasn’t in vain. No relationship works well when one party controls the other. After a lot of soul searching, I realized that I was attracting the wrong types of men because I wanted someone going through hell himself.
The point I’m getting at is that we all find ourselves dealing with messes in our lives. Sometimes those moments in time deal with relationships, finances, professions, and other various issues that we deal with daily. Messy situations left behind have made room for cleansing that I never thought possible. It took me a long time to understand that there might be something better for you when someone breaks your heart. People disappoint us all the time. What matters is the lessons we take from those disappointments. The changes we make in our lives can take the “mess and create a beautiful message.” The “tests truly do become testaments” to the hurt and frustrations we all feel.
I’m grateful for the messes in my life that turned out beautiful. See, the pain that I endured from the mishaps in my life made me stronger and willing to accept myself with all my flaws and missteps. I began to understand what real love and commitment meant. I wasn’t in a romanticized version of what I thought I wanted. Instead, I began to see the world as it is. The world can be anything we make it out to be. If all we see is violence, then yes, the world is a mess. But if we can find ways of making the mess turn into beautiful changes, then we’ve changed more than what we see. When the world gets messy, the world has to find ways to continue to see the beauty around it. Messy is when kids are bullying other kids. Beauty is when those kids are stood up to and forced to change their hearts. Kids are not the only ones bullied, but with social media at the crux of so many patterns, we have to remember that our worlds can get messy without intention. We have to be intentional with not only what we say but how it comes across.
Walking on eggshells may have been a phrase we didn’t understand years ago, but it’s become the norm today. We have to remember so many people with different cultures, views, and beliefs that none of us are the same. We all bring our messes to any picture that’s painted, but isn’t that what makes life so interesting? In lots of ways, we are the art. So the next time that you see the mess around, you remember that messes are temporary. We can clean up messes and show the beauty that exists. The question is not if we can make the mess, but can we see how that mess creates something better and beautiful along the way? Chances are you can’t picture the beauty when you are in the heart of the mess. But as you clean the mess up, you will find that there’s a little less mess left behind every time you take out the garbage.
We all are on the earth for a small figment in time. What matters is that we use our messes to become the masterpiece. So when you feel down, remember that your situation is temporary if you let it be. A lot depends on your mindset. Keep your mind focused, active, and sharp. Life isn’t always fair, but it’s the only life we get. Use it wisely. Learn from your mistakes and try to avoid making the same messes over and over. Have a great day, everyone.