“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Facing our challenges in the world or at home is the only way to make progress.
Mr. Baldwin lived his life out loud without apology. He succeeded in spite of racism and homophobia and we are a better society because he faced injustice and prejudice so courageously.
Some of us aren’t facing the kinds of external challenges that James Baldwin had to face. Some of us are.
Whether you struggle with the world at large, with its seeming limits and the meanness of people (because I don’t think the natural world is mean, just indifferent), or simply your own inner dialogue of limited thinking, nothing in either sphere will shift without your attention.
It’s not unusual to avoid things that are hard, to walk away from the hurdle instead of facing it head on. Few people sit down to eat the frog first thing.
Sometimes when I run into an obstacle or something that seems unmovable, I shift my focus and do something else rather than facing the obstacle because it’s easier. I’ll avoid the frog.
But the frog is still there.
Physical clutter, stuff can be one of the ugliest frogs to eat because it robs you of peace at home.
Engaging with the turmoil outside your door is something most of us can do and then return to relative safety behind closed doors. For now.
But if home is a jumbled mess where things are out of place and there is nowhere to find comfort and rest, you are in a constant state of stimulation and upset.
Even if you tell yourself that it’s not that bad.
That’s just one of the 200 lies you tell each day.
So while you carry on your struggle against injustices in the world, let’s make sure that home isn’t another battlefield.
Unlike the injustice outside your door, the clutter behind your door is inanimate. It won’t fight back.
In fact, it will lay there for as long as you let it. It won’t move without your intervention.
Which means that with some attention, by facing the clutter and working your way through it, you can affect change.
You can create an environment for you and anyone you share space with that is nurturing and safe.
You just have to eat a frog or two.
In the scheme of things, that’s nothing compared to what Mr. Baldwin was facing most days so belly up.
It’s the best way to honor those that came before and who showed us there are other ways to live then simply putting your head down and limping along.
You can live out loud, proud and fierce and kind and gentle without apology.
First, though, pick up your room.