Authentic and Open

Everyone has skeletons in their closet. I’ve counseled all kinds of people over the years from community leaders to the everyday run of the mill person. From high powered people to lowly street people. We all have a couple of things in common. One of them is pain. Everyone on planet earth has had pain. Emotional, physical, spiritual or mental, we’ve all had experience with everyone of these on some level.

The other main thing is a secret inner life that you allow no one else to enter. You are the only one that knows about it and knows what it’s like to live in it. Many of us become experts at pushing it down and hiding it. Many of us ignore it because we simply don’t want to deal with the issues it produces.

It’s like the guy who told me that he didn’t want to go to the doctor because he was afraid that he would find something wrong with him. He had symptoms that were starting to get alarming but he didn’t want to know what the problem really was because he didn’t want to face that there was something seriously wrong. He eventually died of cancer. It was the kind, that if caught early, could be dealt with and he could have lived a relatively normal life. He waited too long and it became too late to do anything about it.

It’s like you wanting to remodel the bathroom. I have a friend that does minor construction and handy man stuff. He has told me many horror stories about someone wanting him to get their toilet to stop leaking or something minor like that but when he takes the toilet off, the floor is rotted and has to be replaced. As he digs, he finds that the floor joist are no good and have to be fixed. Then the water has leaked to the place that the walls are effected and the drywall has to be repaired. The bottom line is that what started to be just a seal on a toilet that costs only a few dollars deteriorates into a job that takes many hours and several thousand dollars to fix. If it was done right the first time or fixed when they first saw the leak it would have been much cheaper and easier.

That’s the power of connection. Being joined to the right people at the right time. A lot of times people don’t really recognize the leak in their lives. They see that something is wrong but they just wipe it up with a towel and think it’s fine and everything will be alright. What we don’t know is that there is damage being done beneath the surface that will eventually cause the floor to cave in and cost many hours and money to fix.

I have learned over years to have people in my life who can help me identify the leaks that I have and help me fix them before they cave in. It is our responsibility to make sure we have people like that in our sphere. People that will ask the hard questions and be truth tellers. People who aren’t afraid of the reality of pain and bad behaviors.

There are many things that are part of our personalities that we have to live with. But, there are many things that are flaws or just plain bad behavior. Like being unkind. There is no excuse for being unkind and all the personality in the world won’t make up for it. There is something under the surface that will eat away at an unkind person until they have no friends or connections who will stay with them. Their floor gets eaten away and eventually caves in.

All of us have heard about a rich guy who died and no one came to his funeral because he was mean to everybody. That’s not a personality problem, that’s a kindness problem and will deteriorate into rottenness until there is nothing left. If that some guy would have fixed his issues early on, he probably would have had a markedly different result in his last days.

Get a circle of friends around you that can be your truth tellers and your helpers. Maybe get in a small group at your church or civic group that can support and encourage you. If you can’t do that go to a counselor that you can talk to and process your hurts and pain with. Don’t allow it to just keep dripping. It’s just not good for you.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Tim Tracy

Cabin Fever Coffee Shop, 312 Clinton Street, Defiance, OH, 43512