What is Your “Getting Dirty?”


One of the things that I hate most in the world is “getting dirty.”

No, I’m not talking about THAT kind of dirty.

I like that too but I’m talking about getting physically dirty…

Dirty as in working in the yard, moving dirt around the flower beds, digging holes in the yard when it’s been raining, getting muddy…

That kind of dirty!

This past weekend, our project was to power wash the brick sidewalk surrounding our screened-in porch, removing all the moss and plants from the cracks between the bricks that’s been growing for years.

As with any house project, it took about four times longer than we thought it would.

I always hated getting dirty ever since I was a small boy when I saw what my father went through working in a foundry for 30 years.

He would come home with black soot all over him every night and since then, I’ve shied away from physical labor of any kind because I didn’t want to be like him.

Somehow, when I get physically dirty, it always reminds me of that foundry and what it did to my father.

It broke him physically and emotionally.

This weekend, I got dirtier and muddier than he’s ever been and it was a real growth experience for me.

I got so filthy dirty and it didn’t kill me! Hooray!

Now, that might seem a little overly dramatic but we all have our version of “getting dirty.”

…Something we don’t like and shy away from.

Your version of getting dirty may be something that everybody else in the world thinks is a good time or something to be proud of or excited about…

But not you.

When you come up against something in your life that you feel like you want to change, must change or should change…

You think you have to go back to the past and realize where that belief came from and why you hate this thing so much…

But you don’t have to do that.

All you have to do is start fresh in this moment and be in this moment.

And realize you have a choice.

It’s not about the past that’s the problem.

It’s not about the future and it’s not about the situation.

It’s about your thinking about what something means or doesn’t mean that creates the problems in our lives and relationships.

I had a choice about whether to power wash those bricks or not.

But as I got started…

I realized that I’d made up and lived with a story all my life that what happened to my dad was going to happen to me…

And I realized it was just mud and would wash off.

What a revelation!

Was this experience fun?

No, it was a lot of work but I did notice that I wasn’t in a foul mood like I normally might have been during a project like this.

Once again, I learned about how old stories create experiences in the present that hold all of us back in life and in our relationships.