Sweeping Our Issues Under the Rug Doesn’t Work

Recently I was tidying up before company arrived, and I looked in my junk drawer. It was overflowing with more things that I didn’t even remember I had. We do this in our life too. We sweep things under the rug. We all have a junk drawer. We throw things in the dryer that need to be washed or we haven’t had a chance to fold to get them out of the way so that we don’t have to address them yet. That’s what you and I do sometimes in our lives too.

One of my favorite movies is “Gone With the Wind.” The last scene does something to me every time I watch it. Scarlett O’Hara runs down the stairs as Rhett Butler is walking out the door and she says, “Where should I go, what should I do?” and  he says, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” But that is not my favorite part. What Scarlett said in reply absolutely changed my way of thinking. She says, “I can’t think about it now. I’ll go crazy if I do. I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Then she goes into the house and she falls against the stairs. Every bit of me inside of me wants to shake her and say, “Scarlett, you need to think about it today or you will never get better, you will never heal.” When we have a junk drawer or sweep things under the rug, our issues become bottled up and we pretend. Pretending is not resolving.

When we sweep it under the rug, IT doesn’t work.

We need to banish those words “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” When we sweep it under the rug, IT doesn’t work. What is IT? It is hurt, our shame, our disappointment, our failures, our addictions, the abuse we have taken and our resentments. All of those things are our IT, and we have swept them under the rug. When we sweep them under the rug, they aren’t resolved. We need to face our issues. We can face them or we can resist them. When we resist them, they accumulate. When we say we will think about them tomorrow and put them in our “junk drawer,” what happens they dis-empower us. They take the power. Shame falls on us and we feel unworthy. They steal our true selves and stunt our growth. It siphons off our potential.

It is time for us to own our story. We can have a watershed moment, a crossroads moment in our life. Are you dancing to the same tune over and over and not getting better? Our relationships suffer because we have never addressed our issues and been vulnerable. Issues will not magically go away on their own. We have got to shine a light on them and the darkness will flee. The more you grow, the more you will respect yourself. You will love yourself and you will take the power back.

Here is what I know

  • Healing is less painful than hiding, denying or pretending.
  • Doing the work of your issues is less painful than hiding them away in a drawer.
  • Pain is a part of life, but suffering doesn’t have to be.
  • Vulnerability is scary, but it is freeing.
  • Truth doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
  • To deny our problems and our shortcomings has power over us.
  • To open and release the secrets, it gives us the power.
  • You are not meant to live in bondage.
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To all the Scarlett O’Haras out there: Think about IT today. It may be painful, but I promise you, you will not go crazy.  The world needs all of you, not just a fraction of you.

Brene Brown says, “Imperfections are not inadequacies. They are reminders that we are all in this together.” I would add that issues or the things you want to sweep under the rug are not inadequacies. They are reminders that we are all in this together. 



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