What’s in your closet?

 In feelings, find peace in parenting

Imagine you have a closet in your home where you just throw things that you don’t have time to take care of in the moment; a closet where you put things that don’t really have a home; a closet where you deposit things you just don’t know what to do with.  In the beginning it’s all OK because the closet was empty so it didn’t even matter where you put things in this closet ~ you could just toss whatever in and it was fine.

As time goes on, you have to become a little more discerning, sometimes even moving things around a bit so everything will fit and look nice and tidy when the closet door is opened.  Eventually, though, the closet becomes so full that when you go to put something in it you have to close the door quickly to ensure it will close all the way.

There are days when you think that perhaps it might be wise to go through the closet, to organize it and deal with the things you just didn’t have time for when you put it in there in the first place.  But that task seems a bit overwhelming ~ so you put it off.  And then one day you go to put something else in the closet and you find the door won’t even close now and so if you want to keep everything in there you’re going to have to keep a hand or foot on the door ~ even though it’s not real handy to be tied to your closet door when there are so many other important things you need and want to do.

Now, what if all those “things” you’re stuffing into the closet to deal with later (or not) are your emotions?  You know, the time your daughter told you that you’re a horrible mom and you pretended like it didn’t hurt.  Or when your son didn’t come home and you had no idea where he was but as soon as he returned home the following afternoon you carried on with business as usual because you were just glad he was safe and sound.  Or what about all the times when you just try to keep the peace in the family, while ignoring your own frustration and angst because there’s already a lot of contention.  And how about all the times everyone outside your home thinks everything is wonderful and you don’t correct them even though you’re dying inside?

Eventually your “closet of emotions” gets so full that in order to keep it from spilling open you have to keep one hand on the door in order to keep it closed.  And now it doesn’t matter how much sleep you get, how much downtime you have, or even how often there’s good things going on with your teen ~ you are always exhausted, because it’s hard to live life while you also have to hold the closet door closed.

The exhaustion comes from not dealing with your own emotions (or pretending you don’t have any).

I used to joke that I cried all my tears by the time I finished high school.  About that time, I guess, I decided that feelings were pretty useless because they got in the way of getting things done.

But fast forward a few decades and… about five years ago I realized that while I seemed to have spared myself from feeling angry or discouraged or anxious, I had also prevented myself from feeling happiness, excitement, and even love.  I was just numb… and exhausted.  I knew if I really wanted to feel joy and acceptance it would be opening the floodgates for all emotion ~ even the “yucky” ones like disappointment and jealousy.  And yet, I chose to take this journey anyway because when you really boil it all down, life is supposed to be full of the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the fun and the boring.

While learning to “feel” isn’t always comfortable and enjoyable, it has enriched my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  I’ve been able to connect more deeply with people I truly care about; I’m able to let things go that have weighed me down for years; and, I find I am much more present in my life.  All of these help me be the parent I want to be, especially through the tumultuous times. If you’re tired from your own “closet emotions” it’s time to do something about it.  Schedule your private mini-session now and start your journey to find peace in your own parenting.

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  • Shirley Stoner
    Reply

    WOW! Another very good analogy for understanding our emotions! Thank you so much! This is VERY HELPFUL! to me and to help me in ministering to others!

    • Kelly Reyes
      Reply

      So glad you found it helpful!

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