There are these super adorable little lunch revolution products called Bento Boxes. They keep your food in perfectly neat compartments, like a dream. Your own healthy stainless steel lunchable that can be reused over and over again, and filled with creative and culinary delights. (For unattainable ideas, visit Pinterest.) I personally don't have a Bento Box. They are rather expensive for a person who misplaces things, and to be honest I could never dream of having that organized of a lunch. I'm more of a "mis-matched plastic container that gets left-in -the-car for a month" type of girl. I wouldn't know how to treat a Bento Box with the respect it deserves.
But the compartments.
I'm a little obsessed with the compartments.
They are perfect.
Nothing touches anything else.
The division is impeccable.
Every time I see a picture of one, I have this deep philosophical thought.
My life is a Bento Box.
Everything in it's place.
Steel walls of separation.
I've actually become a master of this.
Work life. Home life. Caring for my parents life. Friend life. Sibling life. Pastor life. Holiday and special events life. Things I worry about life. Pursuing dreams life. Trying to be a good wife life. Mom life. Writer life. Going outside life. Daydreamer life. Leader life.
So many types of life.
Each happening in their own little compartment.
Created with steel walls of separation.
Don't make them touch.
Bento boxes work because they don't let things come into contact with one another. That's a great strategy for food prep and picky kids who don't want their cheese to touch their apple slices. But it's not the best strategy for abundant life living. Honestly though, sometimes it's just easier to live in the compartments. The walls become protective. Nothing gets in, because who knows what would happen if the barriers came down? But what if they did? What if we let all parts of our life mix together in real authentic living with no walls between everything?
Would it be messy?
But some days I long for the mess. These walls, they are hard to keep up.
Messy isn't always bad. Messy means contact. Messy means connection. Imagine all the walls in your life coming down, and everything inside given a good shake. What would happen?
The places where you are weak become stronger through your vulnerability.
The places where you walk alone are now filled with support.
The places where you struggle are now surrounded with hope.
There is room for difficult conversations, open conversations, honest conversations, forgiving conversations and healing conversations.
What if messy life is abundant life?
The worst part about living a compartmentalized life is the walls that surround. If all our walls came down, it might be messy but at least it would be real.
The time that you start to identify with a steel box of compartments is likely the time when you need to evaluate your walls. To start taking them down. To let things touch. To live in the whole, not as tiny divided parts.
Full-life living takes down walls.
Full-life living mixes our self-preservation with vulnerability.
Just one, big, old plastic container with a worn lid, everything shaken up inside.
It will never look as good as a Pinterest Bento Box.
But it will feel like messy and full abundant life.
Shelly Calcagno is a Toronto-based author, blogger and speaker.
This article originally appeared at shellycalcagno.com.