ALM

It was small but aggravating nonetheless. It was a small piece of paper about the size of a dime, and it’s white color made it stand out on the brown hardwood floors of my kitchen. I had tried to sweep it up the day before, and not wanting to bend over at the time, I left it once I was called away to other motherly duties (getting a new role of toilet paper to a begging child seemingly held hostage in the bathroom on the “throne”). The next day after walking past the same spot by the heater and not seeing it, I reveled in the hopes that one of my children had probably seen it and discarded it appropriately. So imagine my disbelief when a week later I saw this same piece of paper- small yet painfully evident- in the exact same spot that I had seen it before! This time I picked it up and discarded it myself leaving nothing to chance in hopes that someone else would deal with the nuisance that had seemed to disappear only to resurface later as an unexpected guest in what otherwise was a perfectly clean kitchen. LIFE….

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How many times in life do we avoid dealing with the seemingly “small” things even though they distract us from our very clean, picture perfect lives? Maybe it’s in an effort to save time or maybe it’s because we are called away to something more important. We avoid having the uncomfortable conversation- whether it is with ourselves or someone else. We pretend like hurtful words from our loved ones don’t sting and eat away at our core, and we fall into the pattern of functioning in dysfunction because “that’s just the way things are meant to be.” We tolerate toxic and unfruitful relationships simply because we don’t want to deal with the uncomfortable. We would rather “leave well enough alone ” because stirring the pot may bring about something we had not planned. Avoidance and denial turn the seemingly small things into HUGE things when they resurface unexpectedly and at times, to our detriment. The conversation that we didn’t have leads to a broken-beyond-repair relationship that could have been salvaged had we displayed enough courage to address what needed to be confronted. The counseling that we never sought to repair the childhood traumas of abandonment or abuse turns into a string of wrong decisions in relationships. It’s not that ignorance is bliss; in most cases we know what wounded us, but we lack the gumption to deal with it. We too easily forget that a sore not tended to can easily become an infected wound that oozes the puss of past hurts into our present lives.

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How much richer and more meaningful can life be when we make the choice to face those things that plague us? When we dare to conquer the uncomfortable- the unthinkable- the lost and forgotten unimaginable? It doesn’t always mean confronting a person, but it does always mean confronting ourselves HONESTLY and WITHOUT JUDGMENT. If we are afraid, it means acknowledging it! If we are discouraged, disappointed or disgruntled, it means admitting it! There can never be any long-lasting transformation without transparency- first with ourselves then with others. In other words until we get real about what plagues us, we will never progress to something greater or being someone better. We take away the power the past has to hurt and hinder us when we can openly and honestly admit the pain associated with it.

Take time to think about what you have been avoiding. Could it be that the reason your life doesn’t look the way it does in your dreams is because of issues you refuse to deal with? Like me and the paper, have you avoided “picking it up” in the hopes that someone else would discard it or it would magically go away? IT IS TIME NOW TO PICK IT UP AND DEAL WITH IT. Don’t be hindered another moment by refusal to deal with YOU- THE UNCOMFORTABLE side of your life, your relationships or your past. Pick it up! Acknowledge it! Then get a plan to move on from it using the lessons that you’ve learned to become a better YOU. Your future self will thank you for it!

C. Mack
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