I admit here publicly, that I like cleanliness and order.
At the same time, I confess that I don’t find much time for it. That really bothers me. It’s not that the house is so dirty. I actually have a cleaning lady who comes once every two weeks. And for the most part the house stays neat.
However, because I trust the cleaning lady, and because I’m busy with so many other things; she, how to say it gently and without offending anyone, she started to be inattentive! Or as my son says, she acts like she cleaned.
The truth is I don’t completely agree with what he says, because in general the house looks pretty clean. And I also don’t want to make a big deal over it, because it’s very hard to find a cleaning lady, certainly in the remote area where I live.
So in order for me to live better with the house and with the situation, I decided that twice a year I would roll up my sleeves. Before Passover and before the Biblical holidays of “Tishrei” in Autumn I will dedicate several days to cleaning the house; and if others can help, so much the better.
That’s what I’m doing right now, in the period before Passover. When I myself do the cleaning, I get to every nook and cranny. And then at times I really detect neglect in some places. And I can also discern what objects need to gotten rid of, since most of us have this weird trait of hoarding junk.
During these days that I dedicate to cleaning, I really recognize in myself the love that I have for the house – for this space that is mine. With fond attentiveness I move things around, dust and re-arrange. I fill bags full of clothes and stuff that we no longer need, and give them away.
However, mostly I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I have afterwards. It fills me up so much that it makes me forget the back pain, the aches, and the fatigue from the effort.
So now you ask why I am boring you with these cleaning descriptions?
Let me explain:
I believe that just as I clean and care for my physical home – in the same way, I must nurture my “inner home” as well. I call this inner house a sanctuary, because that is where God resides.
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8 NIV)
And just as only I can clean my physical house properly, and reach every nook and cranny, with nurture and care…
Similarly, I have to be the one directly cleaning my inner “house.” If I give the primary work of the inner house to someone from the outside, before long I will experience some kind of neglect. In the outer house as well as the “inner,” only I know all the quirky corners and hidden stuff.
I am the one who knows my thoughts, knows my habits.
And therefore no friend or therapist can create order and cleanliness there instead of me. Only I will know what needs to be taken out or what can be put in.
This cleanliness creates well-being and liberation. It gives a sense of independence. And above all, it leaves room for continued growth – emotional, mental and spiritual growth and development.
This is the real Spring/Passover cleaning as far as I am concerned.
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