Each one of us has life space that we occupy that is important to us. Included in these various life spaces are where we live, who we have relationships with, any pets that we have, what kind of work we do, where we work, what we do with our leisure time and the things/places/ people that we value the most. How people take care of their various life spaces says alot about them as people. Each one of us observes the people that we know and meet to learn more about them. People's things/places/relationships tell us alot about their values, beliefs, intentions, desires, hopes and dificulties. When we first meet people, we most often give them the benefit of the doubt when we observe aspects of their life space that is not consistent with who they say they are or how they say they talk their talk and walk their walk. I utilize an internal consistency model when meeting people and entering their various life spaces. This means that I look for consistencies and inconsistencies in what they think, say, feel, value and do. There is a saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" and our eyes provide our ability to see the pictures of that which surrounds us which we interact with. Extreme examples of individuals with life space issues include the "pack rats" and "hoarders" we see on television and in our neighborhoods and sometimes in our families. The opposite of that is the individual who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and who lives in a space so clean that no one but themselves can live in such purity and such an extreme high degree of orderliness and cleanliness. We all likely know someone who fits into one of these groups.
Our life space is really an important part of our energetic make up and reflects all that we are and are not. That means that we know people, perhaps ourselves included, who say one thing and do another, who take care of certain things and not others, who report certain values, beliefs and intentions and who do not "talk the talk or walk the walk". When we are inconsistent and not acting in accordance with our thoughts, beliefs and values we are living life out of balance and with a lack of synchronicity and flow. It can drive us crazy when someone important to us says one thing and does another and yet we allow it to go on day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. People do not always practice personal integrity and personal accountability and they suffer due to their inability to engage in self respect and self love and self understanding. And yet, they will get up the next morning doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. I believe that this activity is a form of self inflicted insanity and self delusion that is self defeating and self injurious by nature.
We are surrounded by a larger society and culture that is diverse and multifacted. How do we maintain our own personal integrity and beliefs and values in a society that is rapidly changing and reflecting the values of a few upon many. How can we keep our own mental and emotional house clean when aspects of society attempt to dissuade us of the value and necessity of mental and emotional house cleaning. Each one of us has to decide how much they are willing to talk their own talk, walk their own walk and to remain in personal integrity irrespective of the teachings of the larger societal group. These dilemmas are magnified again when we assume the role of parent and try to guide our children through the maze of diverse options for our beliefs and actions. Life is not really about right or wrong it is about our preferences for living and our decisions about who we are and how we are going to live. When we are stuck we need to get unstuck!
Mental house cleaning involves taking a personal inventory and cataloging all of your various thoughts, feelings and actions into categories which include the following: "Keep This"; Maybe Keep This"; Throw This Away"; "Use This At A Later Time"; etc. There are both positive and negatives in all of these. Each of us must decide what is to be cleaned and how we want to clean it. There is a saying, "Rome was not built in a day". What this means is taking personal inventory is a multifaceted process that cannot be performed in a week or two. Also, we need to have one honest person in our lives that we can share our inventory and findings with so that we can get feedback on the work that we have done. Locate a friend or family member or a member of any of the groups that you participate in to assist you with your inventory process and to help you to focus on you, your life, your space, your beliefs, your intentions and your possibilities. Writing and journaling are key activities along with writing down each action that you take in the inventory and change process. Reading your inventory and processing it with a "Buddy" is also a positive support system for you as well. You may be able to locate someone who want to do this with you. There are groups out there, like the Master Mind Groups, where people join together to assist one another through this thoughtful and reflective and life altering process. Participation in a 12 step program can provide you with the support network that you need in order for you to participate in a program of self discovery and actualization.
Dr. John Garlock