When I moved into this house nearly 11 years ago, I was very religious. We anointed every doorway (except for the bathroom, and I’ll get to why in a minute) with a mezuzah, a Jewish ritual object which decorates a doorframe and holds within it a Hebrew parchment scroll blessing the house.
So we effectively blessed the doorways we would walk through every day, to remind us that everything we do is holy, every room of the house, literally and figuratively.
In Judaism, you don’t put a mezuzah on the bathroom lintel because to have God’s holy name beside the dirtiest of bodily functions is anathema. And yet, there is a very long blessing Jews recite after going to the bathroom – after they leave the bathroom! – thanking God for the way our bodies function normally and don’t block elimination so that we can continue to be healthy and contribute to the world.
As we prepare to move in a week and a half, I’ve taken down all the mezuzahs, so now on many countertops throughout my house sit beautiful casings with little scrolls waiting to be affixed in the new house. Even though I’m no longer religious, I love the day of blessing every single room in my house.
And it occurs to me, why wouldn’t we bless the bathroom, too?
I mean, it is a miracle that our bodies function as they do and that we can rid ourselves of what we no longer need. I know of too many cases were those functions shut down and the person died quickly and unnecessarily.
What a beautiful thing that we can poop!!
Seriously. I am not joking.
Isn’t every single thing a blessing? Even discontent, disharmony, displeasure – for each one teaches us how to start anew, how to do things differently, we learn through our unhappiness so that we can be better, do more, succeed.
The way we create life is messy. (I’m talking about sex now.) The way we live life is messy. (Think about poop, and other things that happen every day.) To love is messy. To laugh is messy. To cry is certainly messy.
Why not embrace the mess? Bless the mess? It has a certain ring to it, that’s for sure.