Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lessons from House Cleaning

I haven't blogged in a while and have been tracking my dreams without typing them up which bothers me but I'll get around to it eventually. 

In the meantime I've been taking notes on life lessons learned from cleaning a variety of houses. 

I realized that I was being led into this line of work for the humility, the adventure and freedom I feel traveling around and exploring new areas, the exercise which I've been lacking for a while now, the need for income, getting to visit with different pets and animals, and the ability of this line of work to provide great insights into the lives of others. 

There's so much our homes say about us without us even being present. So here are some things I've picked up on that distinguish the wealthier homes and lifestyles from those who tend to make and have less: 

Wealthy Homes: 
I was surprised how consistently clean a lot of wealthier homesteads are -especially since they're bigger. These homes and families tend to be less cluttered in general and clean-up after themselves regularly. They only have house cleaners come once a month. 

Their homes are usually very well organized and although they have less in terms of clutter what they do have tends to be worth more. Their homes also seem like they're open for show. Even the kids rooms are usually pretty well put together and "themed" throughout with matching bed spreads, curtains, and bathroom accessories. Their whole home seems to be on display. 

These homes also feature a lot of artwork and artifacts and items from various cultures. Being educated and cultured and having decent amount of books around seems to go along with this way of life. 

These individuals themselves will also paint, do artwork, or play an instrument of some kind. 

As for religion ALL of the wealthier homes I've seen have some kind of religion around. A lot of the time it's actually Buddhism. I've seen many statues of Buddha and books on Buddhism and "being mindful". The second religious item I come across is The Cross. A lot of the wealthier families aren't exactly agnostic and tend to have signs of Christianity in their home -especially a cross in their children's rooms. 

In General:
Among all the families I've also noticed a lot of interracial couples. I've been to over 20 houses now and I'd say at least 25% of them were all inter-racial couples. Most in general were couples with young kids. 

Other common themes included Star Wars and Harry Potter books pretty consistently. Also items and music pertaining to classic rock. 

Less-Wealthy Homes:
They tended to be cluttered, unclean, and have tons of stuff everywhere -including clothes on the floor. There were still items from various cultures and again Buddhism came up a lot, but in general there was just a lot of everything. They did not clean up after themselves and although their homes were filled with more, they seemed to have less in general. They were amidst chaos and disorder in every room. 

I think the other important lessons I've learned from this -other than learning from some of the people themselves and feeling inspired by what they love or the way they live - is NEVER to hire painters that come in and spray-paint the walls. Paint splatter on counters, floors, and items has been a consistent theme: even in wealthier houses. It's next to impossible to remove every speck and splatter of paint you find. It ruins mirrors and counter tops the most. 

I like this line of work. I get to go places I otherwise would have never traveled to or known existed. I get to learned cool tips on how to clean and maintain a clean house. I love the people I work with and my physical stamina is building up which is good. 

I've also glimpsed into some pretty profound things. I came into one home that seemed to have issues. There was something a little off the second I walked in. It was fairly spacious and had high-ceilings, but also seemed kind of cluttered. A 15 year old boy walked by but wouldn't make eye contact with us or really acknowledge us. Is that really how teenagers are these days? I hate stereotypes but when you hear what people are complaining about with this disengagement in person and then see it being enacted in a teen boy... 

The dad was asleep in the back room and to me that said it all. I knew there was some issue in the family -some kind of tragedy or struggle they'd been hit with, but I didn't know what. Their houses was pretty messy and I kept noticing pictures of the husband and wife in pictures from the 80s, but didn't know where the wife was. 

Then the dad woke up and greeted us at one point. We went into his bedroom and turned into the bathroom and that's when I saw ALL of the medical equipment for the shower, the toilet, and the stuff on the sink. Someone was handicapped. It wasn't until later when I passed by the backyard that I saw the wife. There must have been a huge accident -she was entirely paraplegic. 

My first thought was, "How sad, how do they cover all the medical bills?" Which was a weird thought, but not so weird given the current healthcare climate we're in -especially politically. It's sick that we've come to a place as a people when the concern for paying medical bills outranks in instinct to the fact someone is paralyzed for life. 

But the way the husband tended to the wife was something I know I was meant to see. I had feared and wondered in the past if I was ever disabled or stuck in a wheelchair at some point would the person I was with romantically stay with me. My new friend Monique said she once met a guy who was actively trying to cheat on his wife because she got diagnosed with cancer and he didn't want to be "burdened" by her. It's not too hard to fathom the transience of some people. 

But this man was different. I'd say his wife needed him, but all I could see was the opposite. He catered to her, was attentive to her, and came alive in her presence. He was completely devoted to her and it moved me. That people think that what we need in this life is a body and a companion to fill the space and what we have the ability to be granted instead by God's grace is this love that fills all spaces not with a body or a person -but with a soul. 

I prayed for them, for their sorrows to be healed because life certainly isn't easy for them. But I already know they're doing well in the ways that matter most. 

There have been these sorts of insights brought through and I always make a note to snap photos of the cool, unique items I come across from time to time as well. I want to have a place that's inviting to visitors in every room -to be open in that way and to put my life on display for others to see. It's like window shopping through the greatest hits of unique things people have collected on their journeys -or the objects that hold the most meaning. The view from different places has also been amazing:

This last one got me thinking because I got the sense that this resident was sort of an atheist/agnostic -which is true of at least 2 houses I've been to that had sort of mocking images of Christianity around the house or no signs of religion whatsoever. This bike's sort of a gray area -which is what I spent my morning contemplating as I cleaned the house. 

The phrase "Non-judgment day is near" registered with me as a Relief. Like, "Finally a day when people get off each other's backs and live and let live. Allowing people to Be freely." I get that an atheist might interpret it as making fun of "Judgement Day" like saying "A very merry un-birthday to you" -as in something that isn't or doesn't exist. 

But at the same time it occurred to me if The Final Coming was to happen a good indication of that or what you might expect on that days IS to have no judgement and instead an embrace of ALL into Heaven. To have Heaven merge with Earth with Earth being just as non-judgmental as Heaven. 

Which is where we run into issue with Christian doctrine. there are some that still see God in "old testament" understandings as being spiteful, wrathful, and unmerciful (even though wrath in particular is also called a "sin"). Meanwhile more highly evolved Christians acknowledge Christ teachings of "Do not judge" and the fact that Jesus never condemned anyone only tried to help everyone indiscriminately. 

-So some people think Judgement Day = People Burn and are Cast into Hell.

-Where others think Final Coming = Jesus Return to Earth and All are Embraced as They Rise into Heaven. 

-And Atheists think Christians = crazy. 

Life is amusing. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Evade Divide

I've said it a couple times -every time you have 2 conflicting sides you have a deeper, fundamental issue (usually one that revolves around not listening and genuinely seeing/understanding). 

But today I want to exemplify the example of Christ. Even for those who believe Jesus was a just a character in a fairy-tale I would advise them to remember the ending of Harry Potter itself wouldn't have happened the way it did had the example not been made first by Christ. 

Let me tell you of the remarkable wonder of Christ's allegiance to divinity over "propriety" and divide. 

At the time a leper was someone who suffered from a contagious skin disease that who everyone then avoided to not catch the same affliction. If you stood beside a leper it was assumed you had caught the disease and were then deemed to be a leper yourself. 

So when Jesus told His friends that He was going to heal a leper, they warned Him out of fear that He would then be ostracized and possibly catch the disease. 

But Jesus made it clear: I am going to touch the hands of this person and instead of catching a disease from their hands they will receive healing from Mine. He directly pitted Himself against the world and its pains and its finite limitations. 

Then came Peter. Peter hated followers of Christ and burned men and women alive. He committed atrocities against many and went to kill Jesus himself. Jesus then took him in and he came to love Christ so much that when he saw Him wandering on the water he jumped from the boat he was in and ran to Him over the waves. Peter constantly stated in his writings that he was the least worthy of God's love and graces and had received surmounting blessings in spite of turning his back on Jesus Himself. He was always led to being embraced back in. 

Then came the Samarian woman. Samarians were deemed to be loathsome and evil and talking to a woman was borderline forbidden because it was considered degrading and women were considered the property of men -not people. So they were deeply confused when Jesus struck up a conversation with this woman and acted like she was of equal relevance to others. Then he shared the story of the Good Samarian that His followers might come to understand WHY. 

Luke 10:27-35
"27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’"

Lately the story of "The Least of These" has been coming up as well. Mostly because politicians that only seem concerned with gaining power and profiting off of corruption ignore the fact they also identify as being Christian and act against the interest of the people they claim to serve. But let's throw that example in there as well. 

All around us our examples -if not from Jesus Himself- to seek unity and to be there for one another compassionately. 

I think that message is being lived out these days in the word known as Solidarity. We've shifted in the right direction. But this world constantly distracts us and gives us every excuse to abandon that path, so it's up to us to do as Christ did and choose to stay in alignment with the divine rather than let the ego divide and destroy as it always does.  

No man is an island. We are not intended to live for only ourselves. I hope people learn to extended peace to those around them and find peace within themselves.