Dirty Little Secrets


Yesterday, I posted the following status on my facebook page.

Hypothetically, is it wrong to shake off my kitchen rugs onto the kitchen floor and then cover the crumbs with the rug? Just wondering.

Well…confession time. I’ve been known to do this. I did it just yesterday. I just vacuumed the floor on Sunday and did not feel like getting the vacuum out again nor did I feel like picking up the rug and taking the rug all the way outside to shake it. I reasoned that it would all get done later in the week because we will be having friends over for dinner this Saturday night. But, in the mean time, I could not stand looking at my crumb covered rug. So, I opted for the easy solution.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this little bad habit of mine is very similar to the way we tend to deal with the messy relationships in our lives or the character flaws we see in ourselves. Actually, that’s the problem. We don’t deal with the messes in our lives. We avoid them. And just like the familiar saying goes…we sweep them under the rug.

Sometimes, we rationalize why we can’t deal with the mess now. We make deals with ourselves and with God and we vow to clean up the mess later. Other times, we have no intentions on cleaning up the messes we have hidden away. We rationalize again. If no one else can see the mess…then why bother cleaning it up? It’s neatly out of sight and no one has to know about.

This reminds me of the time in my life when I was struggling with alcohol. I drank too much. But, I took pride in the fact that I was a very tidy drunk. I did it behind closed doors. I even went so far as to hide it from my garbage man. Never would I put all my empty wine bottles in the recycle bin. I would hide some of them at the bottom of the trash can. What would Mr. Garbage Man think of me if he saw my recycle bin with that many empty bottles? He would know. I would also hide my mess from the local grocery/liquor store cashier. I would never go to the same store two days in a row. I rotated my trips in hopes that not even the people at the store would have a chance to see my mess.

Until I made the decision to tell someone, those in my life had no clue. Until I made the decision to bring my mess out from under the rug, my life looked normal…whatever normal is. Only problem is, the mess was like a cancer on the inside. I knew about my mess and I was slowly self-destructing.

I’ve been sober now for many years. Early on in my recovery, I remember sharing at a 12 step recovery meeting how I didn’t have to be ashamed of my recycling bin anymore! I was bubbling over with gratitude as I shared this news too. There was nothing in my trash that I felt the need to hide! There is so much freedom found when we choose to lift up the rug and confront the mess. There is incredible peace that comes when we finally acknowledge the filth that we once so desperately tried to hide.

Today, I live my life knowing that it’s human nature to try to hide our problems and our messes from those around us. But, I’ve also discovered the beauty of admitting my faults. When I admit my mess to God, He comes in and cleans house. And, He will do it as many times as necessary!

So, my questions today…

What is it that you’ve been sweeping under the rug?
What do you need to bring out into light?
What hard conversations have you been avoiding?
What bad habit threatens to destroy you?

9 thoughts on “Dirty Little Secrets

  1. Lisa

    Wow Eileen, great post!! You don't have to be ashamed of your recycle bin anymore. That really hit me. When we have hidden sin (hidden from us or others, not God) in our lives, we do live in fear of someone finding out. We go through a lot of effort to make everything look good – like lifting up the rug, shaking crumbs under the rug, putting rug back down, making sure everything is hidden. 🙂 If we would just confess our sins and let God come in a clean up the mess, we could live in peace. We wouldn't feel like we have to hide. This is powerful stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Jenifer

    Eileen, what a great post! We may feel the need to hide from others but the truth is it doesn't matter, God sees all! There is absolutly no way to hide from Him. And when we understand that and give it to Him, we don't feel the need to hide at all.

    Reply
  3. Phather Phil Malmstrom

    Eileen, this was a truly wonderful post. We all hide some "little secrets" from others in our lives, but God knows and sees us for who and what we really are, and loves us regardless. It's an amazing freedom when we can confess those transgressions to Him, and let Him "Get out the vacuum" to help us clean up. 🙂

    Great analogy!

    Have a Blessed Day!

    Reply
  4. Fields of gold

    I do that too!!! And please, don't look in my closets to see what I've swept in those 🙂

    Super post… thanks for your 'realness.' Such freedom reigns when we talk of our testimonies that hold the Lord's hands.

    Reply
  5. Kandi

    Eileen,

    I do that too!

    A long time ago I slowly started sharing my life before Christ with someone I barely knew, I don't know why I did it, I just felt like I had to. One day she started telling me everything that was going on in her life, she said she never felt comfortable telling anyone before but I think because I shared my story of being oh not so perfect she knew I wouldn't judge her. I think that was the beginning of me understanding why God chooses the broken people of the world the change the world.

    Blessings to you.

    Reply
  6. Eileen

    Lisa, "If we would just confess our sins and let God come in a clean up the mess…" that's definitely the key, isn't it?

    Jenifer, Yep, God sees all and we waste so much time sometimes trying to hide from Him

    Phil, so thankful He loves us anyway. And nothing we confess to Him makes Him love us any less.

    Sam, Oh, don't even get me started on my closets! I'm not ready to face the mess in those 😉

    Kandi,I agree…when we share others often find the courage to share too. And somebody out there needs to hear it! That's one thing I love so much about Christ. His ability to use our brokenness and make it beautiful…all for Him!!

    Reply
  7. Tina

    My first though upon reading this was:
    You know me?!
    Then I realized God was simply saying to me, "Here. Someone who thinks like you do."
    In more ways then one.
    Thank you for sharing this post.
    You never know who's life you will touch with a kind word, honesty or by simply caring enough to truly mean, "how are you doing?".
    Glad I found your site 🙂

    Reply
  8. Eileen

    Tina, So glad you found it too! I've done the same thing reading blogs,sometimes I feel like I know the blogger because we think so similarly. Nice to have you here!

    Reply
  9. Tiffini

    I was just thinking this on the way home today..how so many ( myself included ) esp. christians need help for so many things and keep it all " under the rug " for many reasons but the freedom when we ask for help … beautiful vulnerability and others are encouraged to share and let a crumb or two out because of our story..xo:)

    Reply

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