Thursday, May 22, 2008

Obsessive Cleanliness

I grew up with four other siblings in a small house and we shared one room.  We didn't have our own sacred place to keep our personal things. 

We shared one toilet, one wardrobe, slept close to each other on mattresses. Yet, at that time, it was a perfect situation.  Guess, in such a limited space, we learned to take care of each other. 

Importantly, it instilled the value to respect one's privacy - that, in a confined small area, we needed to provide the sacred place and not to cross each other's boundaries.

My (late) mother organized the room well for us.  She taught us to be tidy.  Cleanliness, to her, was the essence for healthy soul and mind.  She often said 'a clean house invites good house guardian, the guardian of habitation'. 

To her, a house must be treated like a heaven.  Though I knew little of what she meant then, I would tidy and clean the house obediently everyday.  It became a daily house chore - everyday, when I got back from school, I would sweep and mop the house. 

I did the same thing even when I started to work.  Everything got its own places in the house.  It just made me feel good after that.

Perhaps, cos it had been a daily routine for many years, that I become obsessive with everything clean naturally.  A clean and tidy house makes me feel safe and lifts my soul.  It brings comfort mentally and emotionally.

For the past few days, we have started buying new things for the new house.  These things are being 'thrown' all over the house now.  Though, I keep telling myself that the mess is going to be temporary, it has actually affected me in a subtle way.  I feel disorganized.  I feel unsettled.

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