Have you ever felt like your life was one big mess? I’ve felt that way many times. This past spring was particularly messy as my dad was in the hospital and I got sick. Also, a family member was applying for Social Security Disability payments. Since I’ve been through the application process, I’ve been helping them with their application. If you’ve ever applied for disability, you know how emotionally and physically draining it is.
These things resulted in me becoming exhausted. My apartment was a mess. Piles of dishes, laundry, and mail were everywhere I looked. Garbage cans overflowed.
In July I saw this post from Amanda Evanston on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/amanda_evanston/
Scroll down until you see the image of Magpie Hearts.
She was sharing a free art healing project called Magpie Heart. #magpieheartart
Why a magpie?
“A magpie is [a] bird that makes elaborate, dome-shaped nests from twigs, straw, mud, and scavenged pieces of litter and refuse….Despite tough circumstances, magpies not only survive, but thrive, because of their unusual nests.” Creating magpie art was easy, so I followed her directions and created this magpie heart art.
My “why” for creating this healing art project was this: when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, I got majorly triggered. Now not only could individual men control and abuse individual women, but male legislators could control and abuse thousands of women by banning abortions and reproductive health care. I felt so angry and distraught over this. My own abusive marriage fueled my anger and the thought of men abusing so many women was infuriating. I needed this healing art project to work through my feelings.
After doing the project, I now understand why I got so triggered. Now my feelings are more manageable.
If you want to learn more about the process, click here: Magpie Heart Art Class
What does this have to do with the messiness of life?
A few days ago, I was looking at my piece as it lay on a table. It looked like this:
I remember thinking, “What a mess!” But as I gazed at it, a thought occurred. Birds make really messy nests, yet despite that, the nests hold their eggs, and the baby birds. New life comes out of that mess. So perhaps new life comes from our mess too.
Perhaps a messy apartment shows I’m recuperating from bronchitis? That I’m taking the time I need to recover. Maybe a messy relationship with my father shows I’m learning to set boundaries with him?
The struggle and anxiety of applying for Social Security Disability was overwhelming for me, yet it resulted in better health and way fewer hospital stays once I got on it. It will be the same for my family member.
Maybe life is messy, and we get upset when we shouldn’t. Instead, perhaps we need to embrace the messiness as part of life. What do you think?
Eventually, I got more energy. My parents got signed up for senior transportation services. I wasn’t running around as much, doing errands for them and taking them places. I felt better, so I slowly went through those piles of mail as I watched a favorite tv show. The trash got emptied. I washed the dishes. And I settled into a new season with my parents. A better one.
If your life is feeling out of control and looks like one big mess, may I suggest taking some vital time to attend to your needs? Slow down. Say “No.” The world will not end if you do. People may complain or get upset. Say “No” anyway. I said no to my dad, and he got angry, but I have more breathing room now. Yes, it felt really awful to set boundaries with him, but nothing horrible happened.
Each season of life requires adjustments. Figure out what you need in this season, and make those adjustments. If you’re like me, it may take a while to figure out what you need. But you can do it. Life won’t feel so chaotic and messy when you do.
If you’d like some more ideas for simple art projects, check out Art Fun. I’d love to hear what you think about your messy life. Thanks.
Till next time, Kathy
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