Mental Health Monday: Key #7 – Confess (no skeletons in the closet!)

Secrets. We all have them.

Some of us hold onto secrets so tightly that our life becomes a facade… We hide the truth from some people or from everyone. And while there may never be out right lies, there is deception and lack of genuineness. We trick ourselves into believing that if someone or everyone knew the truth… the real me… my past… my secret(s)… what really happened… that it would be detrimental, devastating, or too much to bear.

Image result for skeletons in the closetBut what so many of us do not realize is that when we push down the truth and portray ourselves as something that we are not, we are slowly chipping and whittling away to our soul… our inner-self that only we can understand and interface with. We chose to put off interpersonal discomfort and angst and therein choose to put on INTRApersonal (stress withing our self) stress. This fits so perfectly with our avoid and escape from suffering culture. Why suffer immediate pain and discomfort when it can be avoided? Our culture seems to be unable to assess long-term effects and consequences. We are more willing to take a risk that we somehow encounter a miracle and avoid the long term consequences, than to simply face up to our present issues, face the immediate consequences, BUT come clean.

We will face suffering, but we can choose what suffering to face. When we choose to hide and deceive, we will not only reap the long-term consequences, but we will endure the stress of covering up our real self or the truth along the way. And while it may seem “easier” in the short run, we are inflicting far more damage on ourselves that ever was necessary.

So what are you hiding? What are you covering up? Get it in your mind now.

I do not want to minimize the difficulty and/or the pain that will ensue when you clear our that closet of skeletons and come clean. That is real and difficult and intense potential pain. It could be that your entire life will change as a result. But is coming clean… being honest… being able to finally be yourself worth it? I cannot answer that question for you. Perhaps coming clean to everyone is too much, but you could tell someone to get help, healing, and guidance.

If you desire to live with a clear conscience, with no more skeletons to haunt you, I hope that what I say will help you on your path to genuineness. I want to address a few things with you to help you to face this fear of coming clean and presenting your genuine self and the truth.

#1 You do not know what the future holds.
All of those conversations you rehearsed in your mind… All of those scenes you played out… you do not know with 100% assurance that they will actually happen. Sure, we can think about people’s typical responses, what makes sense, or rely on past experiences… but when it comes down to it, we cannot guarantee our predictions will happen. There is a chance that our predictions will be wrong and there could be a better outcome or that it will not be so bad.

#2 Stop focus on the difficult part.
You full well know what you have to say and that the experience of coming clean will not be easy. And if you focus on that, you are far less likely to go trough with what you know needs to happen. We can choose what to focus on and it will change our courage, motivation, hope, and behavior. Which lead me to…

#3 Focus on the freedom that will come AFTER.
The freedom. The weight lifted from your shoulders. Knowing you are no longer a deceiver. Being able to be yourself. Not worrying about covering up or remembering your dishonesty. Being right within yourself. THESE are the things to focus on. When this is your mindset, you will be motivated and willing to tackle whatever is ahead of you.

#4 Be ready to accept responsibility for what you did and plan how to avoid getting back to where you were.
Coming clean is great, but if you are just going to dive right back into where you climbed out of what was the point? Skeletons out… new skeletons in? Instead of falling back into your same patterns, make sure you are finding a way to avoid getting back to where you were. Accountability and understanding yourself are key in this area. This may be able to be handled by a friend, family member, or mentor. But if that is not enough, there is no shame in seeking out counseling to help keep you on the right track. A counselor is a removed party that is able to look at things objectively, will empathize (not sympathize) with you, and help you work toward your goals. They are someone that will check on you weekly that will accept you NO MATTER WHAT… if you succeed or fail.

So… are you ready to get rid of those skeletons?
Or… Are you interested or curious about counseling?

Comment below with whatever is on your heart. I hope you find the start of your healing in taking that simple step!

 

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