Being Tolerant of Others/Ourselves

My mom was staying at my grandma’s house and it was challenging to say the least. Ever since I moved out of my house as a teen I have constantly been trying to minimalize my things. I guess because I wasn’t sure where I was going to be living and I told myself I wouldn’t collect too much stuff until I settled down. Since I haven’t settled down yet, I haven’t collected much, except for essential books, video/media equipment, cooking tools. Louse Hay’s words ring in my ears that if you haven’t used something for more than six months, get rid of it/let it go.

So I’m a minimalist. I don’t like to collect things. I like to get rid of things, especially if they aren’t being used. And in my grandma’s house, there were so many things that weren’t being used because my uncle was a hoarder/artist who collected scraps for art’s sake. With his passing, nobody understood his mess. So we started getting rid of things.

But you know, hoarders run in the family and my mom was one too. Maybe it wasn’t being a hoarder, but rather a person who has many hobbies/passions, so you try to do them all and collect things so that one day you will be equipped to carry out your creative endeavors. One thing I’ve learned from my experience here, cleaning up after my late artist uncle’s mess, is that all you really need to create is time, will, and discipline, otherwise you collect crap and end up with a house full of shit that nobody understands but you. Sure, it’s cool when you live alone, but when you are in someone else’s house, that just ain’t cool.

For the past ten months I’ve been a guest in my grandma’s house. I have my hobbies/passions but I don’t leave them everywhere unlike my mom who left all her stuff everywhere, all the time.

Now that my mom is back in Arizona, I see the stuff she left behind and somehow I understand her. I even appreciate who she is more because I see her mess as hope, as substance, nourishing elements like books, sewing patterns, scraps of material, workout equipment, all these things that give us life and provide an interesting way to live. I’m different. I live but I do it in a contained way. I turned into that person over time when I once was very like my mother, but even worse with walls plastered with photos and costumes/props/instruments laying around. And somehow I was more creative. Because creative often means your mind is going in so many places, coloring outside the lines. You really can’t be neat all the time.

It’s great how different we all are as human beings. It’s what makes life special. If we all were the same, it would be boring as hell. We have so much to learn from each other’s differences.

Again, I am reminded to be tolerant of those around me because they are merely reflections of myself. If we can’t tolerate others, then we can’t tolerate ourselves.

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