Recently, I’ve been low on socks. I couldn’t tell you where they’ve disappeared to, but I know that matches were missing and my choices were dwindling. On top of that, my sock drawer was no longer able to close. I sought to solve the problem by buying more, but my frugal side wasn’t feeling the prices, so I roughed it out. The real issue was that I noticed a problem and tried to treat the symptoms (limited socks options) without exploring and fixing the root (figuring out where the socks were going).
One would think after noticing that the sock drawer was broken I’d attempt to fix it. That would mean taking out the drawer and all of the non-matching socks busting out of it to determine why it could no longer close. For weeks, I was too busy or overwhelmed with other priorities, to address this small but annoying issue. Luckily I worked from home several times a week, so I didn’t have to wear socks daily. (Although it seems that working from home would give me more time to address home-related issues.)
Truth is, during this time my sock drawer was not the only struggle, my washed clothes were unfolded and spread across my bed, another drawer was also beginning to break and I hadn’t seen my dresser in months. What started as an unaddressed issue in one area, spread into a room-sized issue that was unavoidable. I’ve always said my room is a reflection of my life, and everything was in need of care and attention.
At least two weeks passed before I carved out time for a self-care weekend where I didn’t commit to any events or engagements. All I wanted to do was sit home, hang with family, play music and straighten up my house. I eventually I got around to my room. After putting away the baskets of clothes that covered my bed, I finally decided to tackle the sock drawer. As I was pulling out the mountains of socks spouting from the drawer, I noticed why it wasn’t closing. The amount of socks removed covered my whole queen size bed and had no business being squeezed into the mini nightstand drawer. Since my room is a reflection of my life, I began thinking about how this was an example of how I handle other issues. How often do I notice a problem, ignore it, then go for the symptom, not the root?
Many of the socks I’d been looking for were buried in the back of the broken drawer. Other socks that were overstretched, worn out, or lacking a match were simply taking up unnecessary space. There was an abundance of unaddressed items that needed to be worked though so I could get back to living comfortably. This was no different than the way I previously went about relationships: ignoring the (symptoms) hurt and dysfunction of past habits while searching for the next person (the fix) without addressing (the root) my own hurt, insecurities, or needs.
Some of the items in our drawers and our lives need to be explored, uncovered and addressed. In order to fix my drawer and solve the problem of limited socks, I needed to take time to go through the mess and throw away a bag full of socks that didn’t have matches. In my life, I’ve reserved six months of time to unlearn thoughts and habits that created an unsuccessful relationship cycle. I’m currently exploring my own brokenness and taking the time to heal me. I don’t need my relationship problems bubbling over into full life issues.
What issues might you be ignoring? Maybe your sock drawer isn’t the problem. Whether it be at home or in your life, whatever issue you see happening, get to the root before it spreads.