When I was growing up, spring cleaning was a social event. My extended family all lived within a few blocks of each other, and every year, as soon as the first robin was sighted, spring cleaning was set into motion. My mom, grandma and aunts would gather at one of their houses and spend the day moving furniture, polishing floors, lining cupboards, cleaning closets and washing windows until the house sparkled and smelled like Lysol. Then, the next day, they’d all move on to the next house until the Thomas/Roberts compound was a showcase of cleanliness and order.
Spring cleaning at my house isn’t quite the event it was in those days. In fact, for me, spring cleaning happens not in a day, but over a period of weeks. One day it’ll be the kitchen, then the bedroom or bathroom, moving from room to room until the whole house is clean – well, relatively clean. I’m not sure it ever gets to the level that my mom, grandmas and aunts accomplished. But nonetheless, it sure feels good when it’s done.
The expected reward for spring cleaning is a clean house, but sometimes there can be other rewards as well. This year, when I was cleaning my bedroom closet, back in the corner, hidden in the shadows, I found a shoe – a pink and purple sneaker that had been missing for over a year. Now this wasn’t any ordinary shoe. It was half of the most expensive pair of shoes I had ever owned. When I saw these shoes in the store, I HAD to try them on, even though they were well over my usual shoe budget. I had no intention of buying them; I only wanted to know what such an expensive shoe felt like. But when I put them on, I never wanted to take them off. My feet felt like they were in heaven! Sooooo – I bought them.
Not long after I brought them home, the left shoe disappeared. I looked EVERYWHERE for that shoe to no avail. So, for over a year, its forlorn mate sat in my closet, beautiful to look at but utterly useless without her lost sister – UNTIL – Spring Cleaning 2019! As I was pulling everything out of my closet, there she was, in all her glory, in that dark, dusty corner, waiting to be discovered.
Spring cleaning your house can be like that. Sometimes you never know what treasures you might find in the hidden corners. The same is true for the human psyche. Sometimes when we begin to dig through the debris of a lifetime of a self-created identity – one that we create to suit the expectations of family and culture – we end up finding the most precious treasure of all – our TRUE identity, the one we were created to live out. We might find strengths, glorious gifts, or extraordinary abilities that were seen as threatening to important people in our lives. So, in order to fit in – to belong – we tucked them away and eventually forgot that they were ever there. And like my pair of shoes, what is left, what we present to the world, is incomplete. We are not whole without them.
Those shoes don’t belong hidden away in the closet, but on my feet where they can do what they were created to do. Your wholeness doesn’t belong hidden in the shadows of your psyche, but brought into the world through who you are. They are a gift not just for you to enjoy, but they are something intended to bless the whole world and make it a better place for your having been here. Part of our work at Sacred Dance is to help people shine a light into those dusty corners, discover the treasures hidden in the shadows, reclaim them and integrate them into their lives.
It’s spring cleaning time! I can’t send my mom, grandma and aunts to help you find your inner treasures, but Sacred Dance is here, and that’s what we do!