Sharing Our Skeletons
One of the things I’ve learned through my work (and my own experience) is that we all have skeletons in our closets (or in my husband’s case somewhere under the bed – that’s why the sheets always have to be tucked in!). Each of us has faced some struggle, felt shame, and experienced failure. These become those experiences that we tuck away, not only from others but often from ourselves. Sometimes are skeletons aren’t about failure. They are the parts of ourselves that make us who we are, yet we are afraid that self won’t be accepted.
When I went through a divorce in 2000, I found myself with a deep need to be honest and real, to confront my fears instead of letting them control me. What came of this need was pushing me to share my deep fears, my mistakes, and my insecurities instead of hiding them away. For example, I found myself compelled to tell every new person I met that I was divorced. I felt I had to immediately share this so that I wouldn’t be tempted to hide it. While this was a bit extreme, I found that every single time I shared about the divorce, the person I was talking with responded with compassion and very often with their own story of divorce. These conversations led to sharing and in the sharing came healing and insights that helped us both to step away from shame and into compassion.
I have found this has been true for every “skeleton” I have shared from the closet of my psyche or from my life. When I have found the courage to share it, always I have been gifted with love and support in return. This sharing helped me to realize that no matter what I had experienced, others had been there before me. I also soon discovered that in sharing, I was able to help others avoid some of the pain and pitfalls I’d experienced. When we discover we are not alone with our fear, shame, and pain, the burden is lightened. We are able to learn from the experience instead of letting it defeat us. We also begin to see that nothing in life requires shame. Instead, we see that all experiences, even the ones we view as bad, are just part of our journey to discover our truth, the truth that says we are Divine and perfect just as we are.
We also discover in sharing the truth of who we are that so often those we share with our seeking just what we have to offer. I still remember being very uncomfortable about the cable guy coming up to my office to install the cable line for my computer. I assumed he’d find all the spiritual items weird. Instead, he noticed my Reiki Master certificate on my wall and said he’d been hearing about that and could I tell him more about it!
I share this today because as a life coach I see how so many of us are working through similar struggles. Our world is changing and we are changing. These changes are pushing those skeletons up to the surface, not to be reviled, but instead to be acknowledged. In my book Soul Friends Guide to Surviving the Pit, I suggested the best way to handle our skeletons was to bring them out to dance. Now, 15 years beyond the writing of that book and the divorce experience which prompted it, I know this is absolutely true.
So how do you do this? I feel the first step is to set an intention to align with your heart. Let Love speak through you and motivate you to share what is needed. Trust that if your heart prompts you to speak up, even if you feel afraid, that your courage will be rewarded. Over and over again I have been shown that my quest for my own healing and wholeness is the vehicle for others to find their empowerment. I know this is true for us all. I also love this affirmation from Florence Scovel Shinn as it reminds us to see the true person beneath the defensive mask. Here it is: “I see your Divine self only. I see you as God sees you, perfect, made in His image and likeness.” I also find it powerful to switch the word “God” for “Love.” The new affirmation becomes, “I see your Divine self only. I see you as Love sees you, perfect, made in Love’s image and likeness.” You can use whatever resonates or adapt it to feel right for you.
I also think it is important to come together in community. To find ways to create safe, supportive places where the intention is sanctuary for all. Whether you find this through the vehicles I offer (membership community, holistic network, Lightworker circles) or through a church or other support group or even just coming together with a friend, I hope that you give yourself the gift of this. Gathering together in love empowers us all. It is how we create a new way of living where love is the motivator instead of fear.
In closing, I want to share a passage from one of my favorite books, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. This book holds so much wisdom and beauty. Every time I pick it up, I find another passage that deeply moves me. Here is a passage from the “Crime and Punishment” section:
“Like the ocean is your god-self; it remains forever undefiled. And like the ether it lifts but the winged. Even like the sun is your god-self; It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holds of the serpent. But your god-self dwells not alone in your being. Much of you is still man, and much in you in not yet man, But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.”
I feel we need to love ALL of who we are, the god-self, the human being, and the pygmy self. All are part of us and all are Divine.
With love and gratitude to each of you!