I had painful past experiences or skeletons hidden away inside, in a private place that no one was allowed to know about or enter into for fear of being exposed. I call this private place the Skeleton Closet.
I was secretly living in fear and shame.
The door to this closet was shut tight and was under high security. No one was ever getting in, and nothing was ever going to get out of that closet. I guarded the past experiences or skeletons with my life.
Those painful past experiences or skeletons hidden inside your closet can be affecting your life far greater than you realize. Those skeletons can be affecting the way you think about things, the choices you’re making in life, and they can have a great impact on the direction you’re traveling in life.
You can’t go forward in life with a closet full of skeletons.
You will continuously make the same unhealthy choices and mistakes over and over again.
You will end up spending your life traveling in the same circle and never get anywhere.
You must acknowledge the past to fully proceed into the future. I call this process cleaning the skeleton closet. Cleaning the skeletons out of your closet is the most uncomfortable and rewarding thing you will ever do.
Let’s do some closet cleaning!
Step One: Acknowledge
You can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge!
Take a long hard look into your past, really dig deep inside yourself and reflect back over the moments of your life until now. You’re looking for your “story”; the story you hold onto like a martyr, the one you allow to run your life. The story that keeps you downtrodden, the most painful moments of your past, and that story or moments you don’t share openly with anyone ever.
The story for me was growing up in a dysfunctional family with no real guidance in life. I was the strong one and the protector of younger siblings. I was always doing a Mother’s job from a young age, and fighting for things to be done the right way due to abuse and neglect. I spent three and one-half years living in a domestic violence situation and endured losing our children.
Did you find your story yet?
Good, now let’s work on helping you overcome those skeletons so you can put that story to rest and open the closet door once and for all.
Step Two: Take Action
Now you must take action!
This step requires you to take action, to deal with your story, to bring back the most painful moments and memories of your past, memories you have hidden away inside for years and memories you would rather keep hidden inside.
This step is about learning to deal with the painful experiences, skeletons, and painful memories. It’s essential that you stop ignoring the past, stop hiding the past away and stop forgetting about it.
In step two, I learned to deal with and feel all of those feelings that were ignored for years as the memories came back. I had feelings of anger, sadness, fear, regret, resentment, and disappointment. I felt unloved as a child and as an adult. I felt aggravation and a great sense of loss and others. I learned to let myself feel them and gave myself permission to be mad as hell.
Step Three: Accept
Accept the things you cannot change!
This step requires you to accept what you cannot change. You must acknowledge, deal with and accept that everyone, including you, has painful past experiences, skeletons, and painful memories. We have all made unhealthy choices and done wrong things in life.
Everyone has lost people who are important to us and suffered painful experiences.
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You cannot let these experiences hold you down and take over your mental state of mind. Learning to accept the things we cannot change is essential to healing your mind and necessary for you to experience personal growth.
In step three, I accepted the loss of children and acknowledged the feelings of failure I felt inside for not being a mom to them. I realized that the poor choices made in life were due to living in a dysfunctional home. I learned that you cannot change the past. I was greatful to the Lord for healing for my broken heart.
Step Four: Learn
Learn to leave the past behind you!
This step requires you to leave the past behind. When you learn to leave your painful past experiences, skeletons and the painful memories behind in a healed state you’re able to open your heart once again and you will experience life anew.
When your skeleton closet is clean, you win in the future by experiencing personal and spiritual growth, and you will be open to new experiences in life.
You will be one step closer to an abundant life.
In step four, I learned to leave the past and the feelings associated with it behind in a healed state. Blogging has been part of the healing process for me. I was a shy and reserved person before this cleaning process began. I never would’ve put myself out there on a blog, let alone write a book about these experiences. I lived in fear of judgment from others.
I’ve opened the closet doors, cleaned those skeletons out and let the light of Jesus Christ come in. I’m walking in the full light of Christ, and now everyone can see the grace of God.
Do you have skeletons hiding in your closet?
Have you experienced a similar closet cleaning in your life?
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