I missed a word yesterday. I meant to go back to it, but then the issues with my son trying to get gas sidelined me again. That one did, I will be upfront and honestly admit, to sending me into a rant. All that stomping on that soap box made more noise than sense. So I’ll try not to do that too often.
Yesterday’s word prompt was kitchen, today is bath. So how to handle them..
Let’s try looking at life as a kitchen. I’ll use my life as the example here.
As I was growing up, it was my job to clean the kitchen after meals. Mom cooked, I cleaned. I hated it but I did it. If I didn’t do it right, I did it all over again. She would inspect the job I had done, tell me where I did not meet her expectations and leave me to make the needed improvements.
I will admit here, that I hated washing dishes. I hated that it was my job and that it was always my job while my brothers were off doing brother stuff. I couldn’t understand why they never had to help. Of course that was teen angst on steroids but there it was. I recall many times in my frustrations finding myself sitting on the back steps in the dark muttering about the unfairness of life. After running out of complaints, I would go back inside and either finish my responsibility or if that was complete head for my bedroom and music.
Our life, is our kitchen.
We prepare the food for our thoughts, our beliefs, our actions. The ingredients are what we put into our system. Through what we read, watch and listen to during the day. The conversations we have with others, go into the ingredients.
What are you putting into the cabinets of your life? Are you storing the good nutritious things like hope, peace, compassion, intellect, determination, love?Or are your cabinets filled with the junk food such as hatred, jealousy, contempt, bullying, racism?
If you join into a conversation, lets say online, what do you pull from your cabinet to add to the mix? Do you add something from intellect that will explain and increase understanding of a topic? Or do you pull something from the junk cabinet and toss in an insult or rude remark meant to stir up anger and discontent?
If you are in an in person conversation with a single individual or group, do you listen to learn? Seeking good things to add to your cabinet? Do you listen, really listen, accepting that the other individual seeks only an ear that hears, not ingredients added to their cabinet? At least not at that time. Do you listen, cabinet doors open, compassion, understanding, love at the ready and pouring out?Or do you listen, with one hand on the junk door waiting to grab and pour forth things that would only damage and hurt? Stirring the pot simply to watch it boil over.
What do you pull from those cabinets to take with you as you go through your day? Are patience and respect packed into your to go bag or rudeness and contempt. Do you take an understanding that you are no better than others, or a double dose of entitlement?
When you stand in the doorway to the kitchen of your life, what do you see?
Are you looking at clean and organized? Everything is put away, the countertops cleared. There are no dirty dishes in the sink and the floor swept. No food or canned goods, no cleaning supplies or utensils out of place. Have you organized your life kitchen to show you? The individual who you are.
It isn’t a one and done thing. It is an activity that has to be done constantly. There is always going to be someone who wanders into your life and disturbs things. They may track in some mud, leave a glass on the counter, not close the doors. It is then, when we need to come along and do our clean up. Sweep, close, take out the trash that threatens to undermine our work or worse to contaminate the life we seek to build and create.
It isn’t difficult, while in the process of preparing a meal, to accidentally use a wrong ingredient. They look similar in packaging or in form. Salt and sugar are similar but have a great difference in taste. It is essential that we fully focus and pay attention to what we allow into our kitchen, and how we use the ingredients there.
I have a bad habit of not paying attention to the dates on products. My son recently tossed stuff out that was a year out of date. I know, that should I take the time to check some of the packaging in my cabinets, there are more. My moment would be like that commercial with the aunt standing there repeating “expired, expired, expired”
The good thing though, is knowing that we can look at the kitchen of our life, open the cabinets of our mind and heart, and know that there is no expiration date on things like, love, hope, compassion. Those really don’t diminish with use but expand as yeast in dough. And for that, I am thankful.
But, what if, you look into your kitchen with open eyes and honest heart, and see those things that you don’t like? What if your counters aren’t so clean, the floor not swept and items are falling out of those cabinets onto the space below? What if, your cabinets hold fear, darkness, addictions, hopelessness, anger? Like roaches running about, seeking a hiding place should the light be turned on. All is not lost.
I commented in an earlier write, that I’m no angel. I have made mistakes in my life. I’ve had those emotional, mental roaches scurrying about. As teen, I gave my life to Christ. As an adult, I had wandered off onto my own little self seeking paths. I made mistakes, I acted in ways that were wrong for me and my faith. My kitchen was a horrendous mess. But there is a passage in the Bible that discusses the prodigal son and how his father welcomed him back with open, loving arms. I understand that parable, I lived that parable as my Heavenly Father welcomed me back happily and lovingly. Is my life perfect? No. There are days when I don’t put away the broom or leave a cabinet door open. There are days when I will discover an ingredient that was stashed back in the far back of the cabinet, lurking. I know better now though, which ingredients in my life are important to keep and use, and which need to be tossed and removed.
When I cook, I get the ingredients out and ready. If necessary, I will check the recipe, sometimes often, as I go step by step in preparation.As the item cooks, I check to see how it is doing, how things are progressing. Then, when the time is right, I set it out to be consumed.Such is life. When we are preparing to do something, go shopping, go to work, go on an adventure, converse with another, we need to make sure all the ingredients are there. Attitude, knowledge, understanding, listening, respect, compassion. All added at the right time in the right measurements. We need to check often to make sure we are acting in proper manners. So that what we present, will be not only acceptable but beyond.
Most importantly, we need to make sure our own kitchen is clean before we open our mouth or pass judgement on someone else’s. Or better yet, don’t. We have no idea what others are dealing with, they may be doing the best they can at the moment. Sometimes, life simply becomes overwhelming making even the simplest of tasks difficult. Watch for the moment when you believe the individual is receptive and offer a helping hand. In the meantime, leave a few of the good things for them, love, compassion,hope. One can never have too much of that in their kitchen.
“We have no idea what others are dealing with…” If we could only remember that we see only the tiniest piece of another’s life. I agree!
Thank you so much Kathy for your visit, and gift of kind words.