Here’s the equation Cleanliness = Organization, Organization = Efficiency, Efficiency = Profit, Profit = Abundance, and Abundance = the presence of GOD.
So basically “things that are equal to one another are also equal to the same thing.” Cleanliness is equal to Godliness. Well, I’m off to do my laundry.
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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood
Here we go with “opposites” again. One thing is for sure, an attitude of sloppiness equals a life of clutter. Anyone who has seen “Hoarders” know this. I’m not being mean, I swear, but the obvious evidence is truly overwhelming when this type of example is taken to the extreme. (If you’ll notice, there is usually a massive lack of a spiritual attitude as well.) I try hard to stay clean in certain areas because if I didn’t, I’d be screwed. I would speculate that being a neat-freak is an instinctive awareness that it somewhat compensates for a lack of attention; not that it corrects the initial problem, but it does help the ease symptoms. I ought to know, I’m right there with it, trust me. How would your husband cope with his…..um….other “problems” if he weren’t neat?
Haha!! We do have fun, recurring banter! This is why I enjoy your blog so much. You play along with the fun, open-minded spiritedness that I am. 🙂 Thank you for that.
As for your comment, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with you that “an attitude of sloppiness equals a life of clutter”….. except I believe this in the METAPHYSICAL sense. As with my husband, his attitude can sometimes be “sloppy” or “cluttered,” but his house is not cluttered – his LIFE, as you wrote, may be considered “cluttered.” His mind goes in so many directions at once, that his life has a tendency to look like that too (with diverse past relationships, with family relationships, with job opportunities, etc). So I am agreeing with you that whatever you mental state is, other facets of your life follow suit!
Where I will continue to throw a monkey wrench into things is with the dichotomy of Hoarders vs OCD Neat Freaks. Just as you’ve seen what hoarders look like, you also know what OCD Neat Freaks look like. Now, from your LITERAL paradigm (and I’m agreeing with the NON-literal paradigm), the Hoarder would be a person who is mentally sloppy/unaware…. and the OCD Neat Freak would be a person who is mentally neat/aware. What if I told you that mentally, they are THE SAME???
Both hoarding and neat-freaking are OCD. Hoarding IS an obsessive-compulsive disorder… just as being a neat-freak is. Individuals with EITHER tendency are experiencing a mental state which appears as a barrage of negative focus, specifically towards a lack of control – and fear of annihilation.
So… a hoarder thinks, “I cannot get rid of this thing, because it has inherent value. If I get rid of this thing, I will be discarding something valuable. In my past, I felt like I was discarded by people, which made me feel out of control. So, to control the discarding of value, I collect things. These things make me feel not alone. This things replace the people who have discarded me. My worst fear is being alone, because being alone to me, registers within me as the same as being dead.”
A neat-freak thinks, “I must get rid of these things, because they are a threat to my space. Too many things around me increase the risk of me getting hurt, especially by germs. In my past, I felt like my space was violated, which made me feel dirty and out of control. I can control my space by obsessively cleaning the physical dirt which surrounds me. My worst fear is being violated, because being intruded upon, to me, registers the same as death.”
So it doesn’t matter if we’re speaking about the extreme of clutter, or the extreme of cleanliness, BOTH of these are anxiety disorders resulting from a feeling of lack of control. If you want to equate “attitude of sloppiness” with “attitude of anxiety,” I would say that makes sense. An anxious person thinks about 100 thoughts per second. Mentally, anxious people are not controlling their thoughts, and I wouldn’t mind calling that “sloppy.” But if we make that connection, then we can’t only vilify the hoarders – we must vilify the neat-freaks too!
As for my husband (and you described it a bit in your response), he’s exactly as I just described 2 sentences ago (^). His ADHD means that his mind is going 100 thoughts per second. He feels like there is chaos in his head that he cannot control. So, to cope with mental chaos, he compensates by becoming overly controlling of his environment. “If I can’t control the overwhelmingness of my thoughts, I can at least control the overwhelmingness of my environment.” So he keeps things minimal and clean to cope with the barrage of information that his brain is sorting through. That is his way of “finding balance.” ((But if you were to ask the hoarders and the neat-freaks, they would claim that their behaviors are only compensating coping mechanisms as well!)) My husband’s way of coping is just more functional on a daily basis, which is why it isn’t considered “extreme.”
But if we’re going on a very generalized topic….. like the quintessential “lazy couch potato” that doesn’t feel like walking 10 ft to the trash can to throw away the pizza box, then I again, I understand what you’re saying. I’m only throwing monkey wrenches to stretch my own mental capacity. Question everything, right? Mentally, the lazy person may be feeling lazy, because it is actually apathy….. and apathy, or the “why should I care?” attitude is actually just an byproduct of feeling powerless. “I tried before to do something before, and it backfired in a traumatic way, so why try now?” So, their fear of failure and expectation of failure renders them completely powerless, completely apathetic, and completely stuck. Again, you would be correct to correlate their “attitude of sloppiness” with a “life of clutter.” But again, we’re still only looking at coping mechanisms… different degrees of dysfunction, haha.
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Playing devil’s advocate again: What if cleanliness DOESN’T equal organization? My husband is a good example – he’s an OCD neat freak, but ADHD-scatter-brained as can be! Haha! 🙂
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