When I was thirteen we lived in Carlstadt, NJ in an immense old Victorian house. One time I crept down the dank, dark basement stairs where the water heater was chortling with rage and almost bouncing! In absolute terror I reached out to turn it off, screamed and terrified by the sound of my own scream I ran for my life up the stairs! There are places other than basements that are also scary for us like the depths of our heart filled with unexplored mysteries! A friend of mine faced the fact many years ago he’s an alcoholic and stopped lying to himself about his ability to consume alcohol ever again. Recently he felt frustrated that his life didn’t seem to be going anywhere and he didn’t know what to do about it. Today he phoned me to explain that two days ago he exposed himself to a woman in his building who called the cops and after spending 24 hours in jail he now has a court date for July! When I asked him what he thinks brought this situation about the only explanation he could offer is that he feels lost and frustrated!
I know we have all been lost and frustrated, whether or not we have exposed part of our hidden selves in some way to someone else! There are some places in our heart that are dark, frighten us and which we shy away from getting to know! Whether they frighten us or not we HAVE to at least become acquainted with them in order to rob some of their ability to terrify us and make us miserable! That “getting acquainted” can be through intimate and honest conversations with someone whose judgment we trust or sometimes through discussions with a therapist. In the end it is through the act of revealing our heart, not our genitals, that we expose ourselves to both pain as well as to healing!
Guilt can be an incredible motivator! Sometimes it takes a big transgression and its consequent guilt to cause us to wake up and get serious about the direction in which our life is going! No matter what it takes, we HAVE to WAKE UP! If that means facing some demon in a deep, dark corner of our heart then so be it for in facing it we rob some of its power over us. To make a serious mistake, especially a life-changing mistake like my friend’s, can be extremely humbling but often real growth only occurs for us when we finally see and accept that we are at rock-bottom and that Life is not interested in our bargaining! The unadulterated fact-of-the-matter is that when our confusion hurts enough we will do something about it!