Sometimes you get all involved in the little things that are wrong, bad or need fixing. You obsess. You are blind to what’s good, what’s working, what’s excellent, even, and all you see are the little broken pieces and the long list of things that should have been done today, should have been done yesterday, should have been done three years ago…
That’s what we call Dusting the Baseboards in the Ballroom: you are bent over, completely oblivious to the glorious ballroom that is your life, thwacking away at invisible particles. Worse yet, when you look at other people’s lives, all you see is their ballroom. And you make comparisons. You do not come out well in these comparisons.
This is upsetting for a person.
And it’s not even the worst part. The worst part is when other people see YOUR ballroom and they start to praise its grace, its beauty, its excellence and you can’t even hear them because you are still dwelling on the dusty baseboards. You even feel sort of lonely and misunderstood – doesn’t anybody understand how hard you are working? Doesn’t anybody get how much still needs to be done?
No. They don’t.
So settle down for a moment and look around at your ballroom. Pretend it isn’t yours for a minute. See how lovely it is? Inspiring, even.
Fifty years from now the details that are worrying you now will not matter one whit. But the art you create, the novel you write, the doll you sew, the dance you perform – that will still be making a difference in the world. Yes, the dishes need to get done, but the world needs your art, so spend 15 minutes on your art first, OK? Art before housework.
And if you invite people in to your ballroom and allow the music to begin to play… if you light enough candles and remember to let a smile come to your lips… even you might lose sight of the dusty bits as you waltz through your glorious, glorious life.