What's In Your Closet?
Do you shove things in your closet and close the door so the room looks clean? Does that make you feel better when you stand back and look around? Are you satisfied with the ILLUSION that everything is under CONTROL?
Today, we talk about the different ways we "shove stuff into the closet" in order to feel like we have some peace in our lives, through avoiding what's behind those doors. We'll also discuss how we can open the door, let all the issues spill out, and sort through them. We will explore the different feelings surely to be experienced, and the answer to successfully cleaning out that closet... for a real sense of control... and a real sense of peace.
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ACOUSTIC GUITAR # 1 by Jason Shaw https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw
Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International License
Now I’m gonna sound like I’m bragging for a minute, but listen to this... I have a daughter who cannot sleep at night if her room is a mess.
Yes! That’s a true story! Hardly ever have I had to speak to her about the state of her bedroom. I mean we definitely have conversations about it, but not in the way you’d assume.
This child – she will come to me in the evening telling me she is so tired that she just wants to go to bed. So, I say, “then go to bed”. But she explains that she can’t. She can’t just go to bed and go to sleep… because her room is a mess and she’ll lay there bothered, knowing it isn’t clean.
Now, especially after raising her brothers, I never thought I’d be saying to a kid of mine, “just shove everything in your closet so you can’t see it, then maybe you can sleep”.
My boys could easily sleep in a mess, on a mess, under a mess. We used to tell Shale that we just saw a rat leaving his bedroom. The rat said it was too messy in there for him.
Jesse always liked sleeping in a nest. He didn’t like perfectly flat, laid out blankets. He had several comforters which swirled all around him in his bed, with him in the middle. Clothes, tools, shoes, electronics… all in and around his nest as well.
Those boys slept fine! But this girl child, I’m telling you… will factor in cleaning time before bed so that she can sleep in peace.
However, like we just mentioned… sometimes she finds herself so tired, with no energy to clean, that my best suggestion is to put everything she can into her closets so that she has the element, the appearance, the portrayed image of a clean room surrounding her – so that she can get some rest.
Does that resonate with anyone today? Either the connection regarding some sort of false atmosphere in an attempt for peace, or at least “that closet at home that you dare not open the door to, without protective gear and a pep talk first”.
Cause what I want to talk about today, has a lot to do with that closet, stuffed with stuff and door closed tight. And I’m not talking about skeletons in the closet or anything like that… although I wouldn’t have been surprised to see an animal carcass in the closet of one of my boys when they were younger – but I want to talk more about this Illusion of Control that my daughter aims for when we tucks it all away for the night.
When we think of the height of the COVID pandemic even, when we were in lockdown situations and not allowed to go anywhere or do anything, we felt sooo powerless didn’t we? What did many of us do?
So many of us cleaned out closets and drawers and organized spaces we have been shoving stuff into for years. Did we really do it because we now had the time? Maybe. But I would wager a guess that many of us did so for some sort of reassuring feeling of control.
Where we said I may not have control over lots of areas in my life right now – BUT – I will take control of my house and surroundings and CONTROL that in every way possible.
And that wasn’t a terrible thing to do. In fact, that was very much our human instinct kicking in. Our autonomy within us is a force that demands to have control where we can. And our survival nature says, “if you take control away from me here, I’ll go look to have some over there”.
The problem, the concern with our ability to shift gears when looking to meet a need for some control, is when we are ok to settle with the Illusion of Control. When we are willing to SETTLE for an Illusion of Control instead of confronting issues in our lives.
It’s when we take unhealthy problems that are affecting us and shove them into the closet so that our room looks to be neat and tidy and all under control, and we can have the peace it takes to be in that room – and even fall asleep at the end of the day.
Now listen, I know that there are different ways in which we shove issues into the closet. And they even feel like they are under control. Now are you saying, I have learned how to control my bitterness. I just roll my eyes when that someone comes in the room. I know how to deal with trust issues. I just decide to trust NO ONE. I know not to repress my emotions. I scream and yell and tell everyone how they made me feel in every situation I can.
Those almost seem like I’m dealing with my issues, right? Or have I shoved the issues in the closet and learned to live in the false image of them being under control? That imagine is not fooling anyone but you.
But I get it, to really throw open the closet door and have a good look at what comes falling out on the floor in front of you, that’s gonna take some vulnerability. And ouch, that feeling of being vulnerable is not at all what you’re going for when aiming to feel control.
But if you get that far, as to have a pile on the floor between you and an open closet, you’ll often hear a voice chime in here… and its shame telling you to just remain calm. Quietly, and gently, as to not alert anyone to what’s going on here, just push all the contents right back in there, and close the door again.
Shame doesn’t want you to change. Shame hates vulnerability. Shame feels like there’s a peace when there is control… even if it’s just an illusion.
Shame says, “look at what you did, tuck that away”. Vulnerability says, “let’s look at why we did this, pull that out so we can get a good look at it”.
Shame says, “I don’t want to feel that - that’s terrible, lock that away”. Vulnerability says, “I don’t want to have to keep feeling this, let’s really look at where this is coming from”.
Shame tries to keep a false version of you locked up and hidden away.
Vulnerability tries to free who you really are. But it will require you opening the door and letting it all spill out so you can see how it got to be something to pack away in the first place.
It will take shattering the illusion of control, so that you can actually work to control the illusion.
It’s like this – you need to shatter the illusion of how strong and put together you are, so that you can actually be the strongest you’ve ever been, while putting yourself back together.
Come on somebody. Let’s admit it together. Whether it is in business, intimate relationships, friendships, schooling, parenting… we are only as strong as our awareness to our weaknesses.
Why has this become something to be ashamed of? Why is it that we have come to see it so black and white to think that strong is good and weakness is bad therefore all strong is good but even just one tiny little bit of weakness is bad.
That’s not an expectation on us that makes any sense. We are going to be strong, and we are going to have weakness. It’s not good or bad. It’s all part of having a human experience.
It is bad to think we are good if we are either strong or have the illusion of it.
It is good to say I am strong in that, and not in this. Let’s pull this out of the closet and have a closer look.
Do you know, the healthiest of relationships you can be in, aren’t going to focus on your strengths. They will look for where you are weak – to say, “how can I help you here? How can I come along side you and serve your area of need?”
The most successful businesses are not focusing on what has always worked and making sure nothing changes from there. They are eyes wide open looking for any area of need so they can address it and make any changes necessary.
We need to dare look past all of our own strengths and ask ourselves what we may need. And that can only be answered if we take the padlock off the closet door and let all the stuff out and sift through it.
We are going to have to let go of our illusion of control, in order to really gain control on what it is that are needs and have in turn become issues because we aren’t meeting them.
We will need to be vulnerable in order to address our own needs.
We may just feel the most out of control we have ever been, in the midst of taking true control of our lives. Because we are letting go of the illusion, to better deal with reality… our truth.
There is no true peace in an illusion anyways. If you spend all your time, energy, money, and focus on how others see you, interpret you, think of you, feel about you… ALL you have in the end is an illusion. Cause you’ve spent up your time, energy, money, and focus. And there is no peace when you find yourself in that spot.
But if you can offer who you really are because you know who you really are, strengths and weaknesses, you offer so much more than any illusion could.
You offer the real you. And that is the most peaceful thing you can do for you. It is the most authentic thing you can do for others. It’s the most honest thing you can do for your life and the people in it.
We need to know that we can show up, while working on ourselves. Where did we get this message that we need to show up, showing off all the good, while hiding all the bad.
What if we could show up and show off all the real. This is me. And I’m rocking at this while working on that. And that’s the full story. The true story.
Do you know that if we did that for a week, we’d come across a lot of people in that week that were suddenly, because of what you’re doing, given the same permission to show up authentically themselves. Rocking some areas while working on other areas.
Wouldn’t that be something?
There is no reason for us to going looking for stress in this world. It will find us just fine without us seeking it. But the biggest stress we will ever deal with is trying to be someone who we are not.
It will have us living in a space full of fear. Fear of either being found out OR, never being found out and loved for who that is.
And this is also the biggest reason why we need to be able to throw open that closet door and have a good look. If we can first know who we are, and accept it all as either a strength or something we are working on, if we present that image, because it’s our authentic self, what is there to fear being found? There is nothing to find. Because there is nothing hidden.
That is the biggest control move you can make. True control would be saying I have nothing to hide, so I’m hiding nothing. And that’s my choice. I decided that. I’m in control here.
What about that fear of others not loving who you really are though? That’s still a thing.
But were you really being loved, when they loved the illusion, you were giving them? What is that saying? It’s better to be hated for who you are, than loved for who you are not.
Let’s look at it like this…
What if you are someone who has always been nice. You always said yes to helping anyone who asked you for anything, anytime.
But then you get sick. Or you get really busy. Or you get AUTHENTIC and decide that when you feel like your answer is a NO, you say NO.
And now you have all these people who no longer like you the same way. Because they liked you for always being so nice and saying yes to anything they asked of you.
You will feel like you are losing relationships. You will feel like you are being hated for being you. You will end up sacrificing their love for your own authenticity.
But you weren’t actually being loved in their first place. You were being used. You weren’t having a relationship. You were doing business transactions. You were providing a service for a payoff.
But when you are your true authentic self, you will find that you attract other true authentic people to your life. And that is where you will have true relationship. With people who might appreciate your yes – but also respect your no.
But again, to offer your real you, you are going to have to first let your real you be seen. And to offer up your real you and allow it to be seen by others, you have to first open up the closet doors and let it out and take a good look at it.
Because like in this example we just looked at, the real self, in full control and in full recognition of real strength, isn’t always nice and saying yes. Sometimes they have a firm no inside them. That true self was tucked away as a people pleaser.
The real strength and in full control of who they are, illusion shattered… they would rather be real and sometimes say no, when they need to, when they want to, and when the situation calls for.
The people in your life who are also authentic, will not reject you for that. They will celebrate it.
So yes, there is risk in opening the closet door. There may be loss that comes with looking at issues and being real about them. You may even lose people from your life. But you won’t lose the people who will celebrate you for being you.
And please don’t be hard on yourself if you are recognizing that this is you, and now you are wondering how in the world this happened. It happens innocently. It often happens in childhood.
When we are children, we don’t have this choice. If we don’t have healthy relationships and we have to choose between being authentic or having a relationship with someone, we have to choose relationship. We have to choose any connection or attachment we can get. We are dependent on the relationships we have.
Fast forward into our adult years, and here we are. Thinking it is natural and normal to choose relationship over anything else, including being authentic. So, we take our authentic self, strengths and anything we need to work on, and we shove them into the closet. We learn to behave in any way that will save the relationship. After all, we know we are dependent on the relationship.
Only we aren’t. We are no longer in a position where our survival depends on any one human being. This is a hard concept to grasp. This is a huge change to wrap our minds around.
But it is a day of freedom when we realize that I can now choose me. I can now decide that I will choose me, and the right people will celebrate me, and the wrong people with make their way out.
Is this that day for you? Is this the day of freedom for you where you realize that you no longer have to deny yourself, to keep the wrong people happy?
Let’s make the decision today or open our closet door and see what’s really in there. Let’s shatter illusions to make room authenticity. The strengths, the weaknesses… all of it.
And lets meet back here again next week where I am sure we will end up talking about something that someone found when they opened that door.
Until then, this is Tina saying good-bye for now, and we’ll speak again soon.