What I wrote in my MOL post about my house was like flipping a switch and turning on a spotlight. Wow! I love people, and I love being an instrument of healing. There is nothing that satisfies me more. And I think that kind of satisfaction is what I would need to break the imprisoned feeling in my house. My house becomes an instrument of healing just as my words or my hands or my creations (like music) are. My house becomes God's property instead of the elephant's cage.
Now here is the catch. I'm not a great housekeeper, although I certainly have the skills. Why is that? I honestly think it's because right now the people who come to my house don't come to be refreshed or loved. And their presence is also conditional--they only come if the house is up to their standard of cleanliness. Looking back at my past, it's obvious that I don't have a problem cleaning when I have an intrinsic motivator. It's kind of like wanting to make yourself look nice as an act of love rather than a requirement for someone to tell you they love you. It's like obeying God because I am grateful to Him and want to do it instead of as a means to earn my way into His presence. I clean because it's part of the process of ministering, not because it's a prerequisite for the person to enter my house. And there are a lot of parental messages defining it as a prerequisite.
Now why can't I do all of this as a ministry to myself? Why can't I treat myself with the same care and tenderness that other people would? Isn't that the crux of all that we are talking about? Whether it's cleaning my house for my own benefit or recognizing my right to make a decision, the foundational issue is still the same. I've been taught that giving to others is good and giving to myself is bad. But there's a double standard now... I'm supposed to give to myself--as long as it means I'll be brought up to someone else's standard of acceptance.