Cleaning and Me.

In 2014 Fab and I started our maintenance business called Fab Maintenance.  At the time we were living in a small country town in rural NSW. We began to do maintenance work for a few of the local real-estate agents. We did mainly painting, as Fab was had been a painter for 20 years, but then it quickly moved to doing minor plastering, carpentry and all handyman jobs. I was assisting Fab with all the work, but mainly I was his right hand girl who handed him his tools, sanded, filled the gaps, ran the errands, did all the odd little things for him and made sure that his work area was clean and organised and his tools were put away in the correct places. As I would hand him his drill or hold the level for him, I would often complain that I wasn’t helping enough. I wanted to help him more. One day, Fab looked me dead in the eye and said, “Laura you have no idea how much you’re helping me. When you take care of the cleaning and go and grab all the tools I need, I not only save so much time, but my work space is in order and my day feels so much better.” It was at that time that I really started to appreciate how important the service of cleaning was.

It wasn’t too much longer that we added the service of professional cleaning to our list of things Fab Maintenance offered. We started receiving Bond or Exit cleans from the real-estates and because we offered everything from repairs to painting to professional cleaning we quickly found ourselves very busy. The real estate agents couldn’t get enough of us. It was fun doing it all with Fab as we made a great team, and for the first time in my life I got to experience feeling like a real “tradie,” except without the smoke breaks and my bum crack showing!

We soon became so busy that we had to split the jobs and could no longer work together. I was to take care of all the cleaning jobs while he did all the handyman jobs. We were sad not working together and the jobs became less fun for both of us. All of a sudden the reality hit me hard, “I’m a full time cleaner!” Suddenly I started feeling all this resentment coming up inside me.  “How did this happen? This is not the life I had planned for myself. I’m 38 years old with three Diploma’s behind me and I’m a cleaning lady!”

Remember a while ago when I introduced myself to you and I told you that when I was seven years old I believed I was destined for greatness and had a feeling that I was going to do special important things with my life? Well this is when all that blew up right in my face. Jesus had often told me that I had feelings inside me of wanting glory and wanting to feel special and important. It was precisely those feelings that attracted Padma Aon Prakasha into my life.  There’s a whole separate section to this site for that topic if you haven’t read it.

Jesus describes it as an emotional addiction to feeling that I am somehow deserving of ‘special attention’. Which is true, I did have that feeling since I was young. I always felt I was going to be a spiritual teacher or healer or something that was unique and well… special.

But here I was, on my hands and knees scrubbing the toilet and the mould from the shower. Day after day just cleaning the most hideously unclean, often unhygienic houses you can imagine. Waves of rage began soaring up through me. I felt absolute hatred for the fact that I was doing this work. I literally spat the dummy and threw the biggest tantrum. I hated doing this crap work day in and day our without getting any recognition. There was nothing to be proud of. I felt like a failure and I also felt so ashamed. I persevered of course because I could see that this work was the biggest gift I could have asked for. I knew that all the emotions coming up and out of me was just what I needed. I embraced the cleaning more as I embraced the months of anger arising.

You see I had an emotional demand that I ‘should’ be doing important things in life. That I somehow ‘deserved’ a special position in life. This is completely in error and against God’s loving laws of equality. I knew that humility was something I needed to learn and that was going to happen when I released some of the emotions inside of me that felt contrary to this.

It took about four months of cleaning full time to work my way through my resentment and feel some of the underlying emotions. Deep inside I felt really scared that I was never going to be ‘special’ or do something important in life. I felt that if I didn’t stand out somehow or get noticed and recognised or praised in some way, I was going to disappear and never get the attention and love that I’d wanted so desperately as a child. It was a huge feeling of insignificance and feeling like I was nothing. I often cleaned while tears streamed down my face. I breathed and just kept scrubbing and feeling.

After that time, cleaning became quite enjoyable! For the first time in my life I took pride in my cleaning and loved the difference I was making. We then moved to Brisbane, where we live now, and the cleaning jobs changed. I started getting regular clients and could pick and choose who’s house I wanted to clean each week. Now I have a steady regular clientele, most for nearly two years now, who really appreciate how much I help them. As Rosa, my elderly regular client always says, “Laura you’re God sent! I don’t know what I’d do without you.” It’s not that I do it for the praise, but I can really see how much providing this service is helpful to so many. Rosa is almost 80 years old and when I first went to her home there were literally spiders nesting in her couch and behind her pillows and cobwebs all over her house. She can’t physically do the work herself, but I can, and it does feel good that I can help her live in a clean home.

I have learnt so much about cleaning and how the saying, “messy home, messy mind,” is true. I see it more as, “a messy home reflects my current soul condition.” When my home is a mess and I feel a depletion of energy just at the thought of cleaning it up, I know that I am supressing some big emotions. Usually I feel overwhelmed, out of control, and “can’t be bothered,” kind of feelings, but always underneath, it is anger that I don’t want to do something I don’t want to do. That I want to get away from taking personal responsibility and I feel entitled to rebel against the feeling like “I have to,” do something. It’s a big feeling in me and I see it play out in other areas of my life, which I’ll talk about on another day.

I’m still working my way through some of my rebellious feelings and anger about “having” to do certain things, such as clean up after myself, or stick to the speed limit while driving! However after a big tantrum the other week, I now can report that I happily sit at the speed limit and not slightly above. My rebellion made me drive about 4 km over the speed limit, just enough to not get a fine but feel like I’m making my own rules and not being controlled! Yeah, it’s been a big one for me! I’ll let you know it goes.

 

Gotta go, see you in 5!