Last week I cleaned my mother’s closet. She needed space. For her shoes. For her clothes. For her walker to go in front of her as she prepares to leave the rehab facility where she has been recovering from back surgery. So out went the boxes of paperwork she had collected over the years and which had taken up residence on her closet floor. They found a new home in the storage room downstairs. Back in went her clothes, sorted by type and rehung at heights accessible for her.
The result was astonishing.
There was all this amazing, glorious, walker-accessible SPACE! For the new pair of crocs shoes I bought her today because they don’t require bending or tying. For the soft sweater I found in her favorite shade of lavender. 50% off ~ Yay me! Most importantly, there was all this space for a future of independent living. Yay Mom!
This concept of creating space has stuck with me all week as I’ve poked around my own proverbial closet, taking inventory of my life. Am I creating space for my son to be an individual and live his own life? Am I creating space for my marriage to thrive? Am I creating space for my main character to tell me his story? Am I creating space for other people’s needs in my life? I was feeling pretty darned good about myself and my whole space creating ability as I answered “yes” to all those questions with a fair amount of ease.
Then . . . I stumbled into a conversation with an acquaintance who casually expressed her opinion about the happenings at the Supreme Court this past week. She assumed that I, as a fellow believer, would also be opposed to gay marriage. Oh I can’t tell you how hard it was to create some space for that conversation! (At least, for it to be two-sided!) I was just itching to jump in with my opinion. Then I remembered my personal inventory, and I was struck with a new question. Am I creating space for other people’s opinions, even if they differ from my own? I didn’t like the answer that came to me so I took a breath and created some space for her to talk and for me to listen.
Just like Mom’s closet, the result was amazing!
Though we’d begun our conversation as acquaintances, I’d like to think that we parted as friends. Friends with different points of view to be certain, but friends nonetheless. I can’t help but believe that we will achieve marriage equality sooner if we are all able to see the face of a friend on the opposing side of this debate.
It has been a week of learning for me. How has it been for you?