Growing up, my parents were very serious about keeping a clean room. I was a master at converting my room into something straight off of HGTV within an hour. My secret: I simply stuffed all my junk, unfinished projects, and loads of clothes into my closet. From the outside looking in, my room looked spotless. However, I knew that my closet was a complete and utter mess. Just the slightest opening of that closet door would cause an avalanche comprising of years of stuffing.
Can’t Keep the Door Closed Forever
It's a complete disaster when we have to take every single piece out and go through it. Yes, we will find wonderful things we forgot we had, outfits that bring back memories, and even money but be prepared. We will also rummage through worn items that no longer fit us, countless pieces of trash, and things that make us subconsciously ask “what was I thinking and why did I keep this for so long?”
We then make piles of items to keep, clean, or get rid of. By doing this we make room for more things that we want, have the opportunity to pass on items that we can no longer use, and wash clean the items we want to keep. We don't want it to ever get that disorderly again. Our lives, minds, and spirits are just like that. When we decide to sort through the feelings, situations, and downfalls in our life, it puts everything back in our hands.
Accept the Mess to Manage It
Sometimes we experience things that strip us of our comfort and picturesque views of ourselves and the world around us. We analyze and beat ourselves up trying to rationalize our actions, reactions, and reasonings. It makes us not only step back and wonder how we got there, but also search deep within ourselves to understand the connections to our catalyst.
Though I can say I’ve accomplished many goals, always reached for happiness, tried to exude positivity, and strived to always do my best and be the best I have also fallen short. At times in my life I’ve been a doubter, hypocrite, fool, liar, loser, backstabber, runner, miser, glutton, gossip, and coward. I’ve acted out of fear, impulse, and frustration and have done irrational, irresponsible, ignorant things. I’ve judged without understanding and failed to practice what I preached. I have regrets of things I have and have not done. I've hurt people and I've hurt myself.
Truth is, discovering and presenting the good is easy but acknowledging and accepting the bad is a difficult and humbling action. I can't fix my flaws until I face them. I’m not some perfect person who's only capable of excellence and has never fallen on her face. I’m a flawed human like everyone else that is just trying to get her life, soul, and mind together.
Out of Sight Doesn’t Mean Out of Mind
For a long time, I threw anything not conducive to my ideal, positive lifestyle to the back of my proverbial closet. I compartmentalized and stacked away many painful events, traumatic experiences, and insecurities and thought I threw away the key. Not because I didn’t care, but because I cared too much. I got to a point where I didn’t want to feel pain, acknowledge, or accept it.
I subconsciously started to shut things out because I didn’t want to see or feel anything negative. I avoided people, places, and events because the discomfort seemed unbearable. I would bite my tongue in every situation because I didn’t want to make things worse, further confirm that people didn’t understand me, or have people upset with me. Avoidance not only made me ignorant and naive of the real world, but also made me suppress a variety of emotions that I didn’t allow myself to express properly.
Nothing Can Come Out of You That Isn’t Within You
Fear, anger, frustration, confusion, weakness, sadness, vulnerability, and resentment are much like outfits and shoes in a closet. They didn’t just pop up in our closet one day. We set them there with the intention to (or not to) come back for them.
Fun Fact: Burying and not addressing our flaws, emotions, insecurities, and issues does not get rid of them. It just gives them a place to grow and fester more. Those pent up emotions aren't only a danger to us, but also to all around us. Therefore, if I want to seek peace, exude joy, and experience happiness, I have to address and release the baggage in my heart and mind.
Release is Required to Make Room for Growth
It takes time, counseling, and praying without ceasing. It takes screaming, crying, and releasing my ideal self so I can grab hold of and work on my authentic self. It took me hitting the bottom to see and realize that “Cloud 9” is only a figment of my ego, worldly desires, and others' approval. For now on, success will be measured in happiness and not accolades. My peace will come from living out my purpose, not appearing to be perfect.
My closet has skeletons that came from tough lessons, messes that have given me messages, and a testimony for every test. No matter how messy or old the closet may be, it's never too late to clean it up.