Living a Happier Life with Less Emotional Weight

by Mary Ann on February 27, 2014

You can live a happier life.

You can live a happier life.

What does your bathroom have to do with living a happier life?

I LOVE to clean. I know, I know, that makes me a super nerd. But it’s true, I do love to clean. And frankly I am really good at it. I can see things other people don’t see. I am efficient and I know how to do the job in far less time than most.

messy_bath2But right now I have a really messy bathroom. For over three months (yes, three months!) I have been telling myself I have to get that bathroom clean. Now it isn’t that I mind cleaning bathrooms. I don’t have a squeamish bone in my body and I like cleaning the bathroom. The problem is that it is a room no one sees. In my apartment the whole rest of the house, except the bedroom, is just one big room. So when I set out to clean my home I begin with the whole house, which remember, is one big room. Then I do the bedroom because it opens into the living room and the door is always open and people can see in. Then it’s the bathrooms turn. The problem is that for at least the last three months I have run out of energy or time before I even get to the bathroom. So there it sits waiting for me to get to it.

I am telling you that bathroom has been a BIG emotional weight to carry. And this is what we all do in different areas of our lives. We take care of the parts of our lives that others can see, keep putting off what can’t be seen and then carry the emotional weight. Crazy, because it doesn’t have to be this way and it keeps us from living a happier life.

Let me share a secret with you that anyone who is really good at cleaning knows. You don’t have to clean the whole room for it to appear, feel and actually be cleaner. You don’t have to clean the whole room in order to lift the emotional weight.

Let’s take that really disgustingly dirty bathroom that is hidden in the back side of my house. When I took my shower last night I thought again, “man you really need to get this bathroom clean!” I sat on the toilet and observed the piles of hair in all the corners, the grunge on the sink, the stain around the toilet. I know this is a really gross conversation but there is a point.

Then I stepped into the shower and I noticed that the bottom fourth of the shower curtain was grey-orange. You know exactly what I emotional weightam talking about. You may think it is age, body oil or soap scum. Here is what it is, bacteria. Yup those little guys that grow in moist, warm places. I have been watching this colony grow, as I said, for a few months and every time I take a shower I say to myself, “you have got to clean this bathroom!” Then I remember all the things I have to do, what it is going to take to get it done and the slight sense of overwhelm descends and I pick up that emotional weight I mentioned.

Well not last night. Last night I did what I know perfectly well works but I had just not done. I took a step, one step and it was enough to allow me to lay down that emotional weight and go to bed feeling pretty happy with myself. I stepped out of the shower dripping wet, grabbed the bleach cleaner which sits behind the toilet and I sprayed the heck out of the bottom fourth of my shower curtain.

This is what I knew I would find this morning, a perfectly white, clean shower curtain. The colony was gone! I just picked one small thing in my bathroom and I took care of it. I stopped waiting until I had time to clean the whole BIG mess. I just picked one thing that I knew would make a difference and I did it.

One Key to a Happier Life – Let Go of Emotional Weight

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Take care of the BIG issues one step at a time

This is a key to taking care of all the Big issues in life. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about our relationships, our money problems, our need for more education, the need to learn to care for ourselves, getting control of our thoughts and emotions, overcoming an addiction…it doesn’t matter. The process works. You have to choose something and then do it. It doesn’t have to be the biggest thing in your messy room, just something that will make a difference, help you feel better and give you hope that yes, in time, you will have the whole room clean.

It is easy to leave the back rooms of our lives in a mess because no one sees them and we can more easily hide the mess but you will always carry a huge emotional weight until you decide to begin working on the mess.

So think about what in your life is causing you to feel overwhelmed, less than, out of control and choose just one small thing that you can do to make a difference in how you feel. One small thing that will give you hope that you can clean this mess.

Look, my whole bathroom really needs to be cleaned but I feel pretty proud of that shower curtain and it is going to carry me through the day!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kathleen February 28, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Great article Mary Ann and well written as usual. I can totally understand the hidden bathroom.

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