I’d guess that most “real” chefs don’t work this way, but for me, I clean as I go when I’m cooking. Of course there will always be pots and pans at the end of the meal, and the dishes you eat on, but everything else, I wash as I’m done. I’d just prefer to have less of a mess to clean later. I wouldn’t try to convince anyone else of that, maybe you like to make a huge mess in your kitchen because doing it any other way would disrupt your flow. But in life, it’s definitely the way to go.
For lots of people, the pain of acknowledging that they’ve screwed up is so great, they’d rather hold it in or push it down or run from it. And as we’re all human, we will all make mistakes; have moments when we don’t act from our highest selves; make choices we’d love to do over again, and differently. If you come from a background where you paid dearly if you screwed up, the words, “I’m sorry, I blew it”, may get strangled in your throat. They may get choked off by fear. But I would say the more you can take ownership of your actions and apologize quickly, and from your heart, the less energy you’ll have to spend trying to convince yourself or others that you’re never wrong. The ability to forgive yourself and other people is in direct relation to your chances of opening to love and true intimacy.
Most people want nothing more than to be understood. Most arguments stem from the sense that we’re not being seen clearly, we’re not being heard. This is why people raise their voices. Maybe if I just say it louder, this person will remember who I am. Or see things the way I want them to, or admit that they’re wrong. And very often, people dig their heels in and fight for their position. Defenses take over, and the object becomes winning the fight. But there aren’t any winners when two people who love each other hurt each other, and compound things by standing their ground. I know so many people who’ve lost years of time with family members over arguments that were completely meaningless.
There are other ways people create a huge mess for themselves. Sometimes a person’s addiction takes over their lives, much to the dismay of those people who care about them. Sometimes a person’s rage is so intense, it drives away the very people who love them, and want nothing for them but their happiness and their peace. Sometimes we do things we know we shouldn’t, but we convince ourselves it’s okay. Making a mess is part of being human. The more you can own it and do your best to make it right, the less energy you’ll spend kicking yourself, or feeling guilty or beholden or resentful. It’s not uncommon for people to shun those they love because they’ve gotten a glimpse of something that is not so pretty. Years ago, I had a teacher I idolized. Eventually we became friends and I realized he was just a human being, like everyone else. But he didn’t like that. He liked the adoration. I offered real friendship, but he wasn’t interested in that. He didn’t want people around who had really seen him. Or who poked a hole through the perfect facade. Not everything is pretty and light. Everyone has pain. If you want people to know you and see you and accept you, you’re going to have to be willing to let them see your pain, too. They’ll either receive it and understand and move closer, or they’ll flee. If they flee, they aren’t part of your crew. Better to know that.
Life is really too short to let things fester. The more you open to what’s true for you, the more you accept yourself, and by that, I mean all parts of yourself, the easier it is to live in alignment with what’s in your heart. And you’ll find, if you haven’t already, when you’re living in a state of peace with yourself, you’ll screw up a lot less. You’ll never be mistake-free, it’s just that you’ll get used to speaking your truth calmly and with compassion. It’s a lot easier to move through the world without having to hide how you really feel. You’ll make a lot less of a mess that way. Don’t overuse the words, “I’m sorry”, or they’ll lose their power. If you have to be sorry a lot, figure out why that is and get busy working on it. But as much as you can, forgive yourself when you blow it, and forgive others, too. This is a challenging stew we’re in, after all. If you want to boil something, get out a pot and make yourself a nice soup. Don’t boil yourself, though. Don’t give yourself a meal of disappointment that you serve yourself over and over again. Clean up what you can, and savor everything else. And eat good chocolate sometimes. Sending you love. Ally