This image jumped out at me this morning since it reflects an example that I use with the clients I counsel at an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center. Many of them harbor thoughts that are damaging and destructive to themselves and others in their lives. They run the gamut from “I’m not enough.” to “I deserve to die.”
I ask them to imagine someone breaking into their home, eating their food, using their utilities, running up the bills, trashing the house, staying up until all hours and daring the person to kick them out. Some laugh and say “Oh, you mean my kids?” I then query, “What would you do?” Some sigh, shake their heads and say “I’m not sure. As long as it isn’t too bad, I guess I would let them stay if they really needed a place to stay for a little while.” Others emphatically state, “I’d kick them out right away!” That tells me pretty quickly their level of self esteem and willingness to stand their ground and set boundaries. Addictions and dysfunctional relationships ARE those invaders that rob us of our security. It is when we are able to notice when our toes are being trod upon and our emotional safety is being compromised, that we are able to take definitive action to feel safe in our ‘homes’.
So, who do you want to invite through your door with a warm welcome and who do you want to show the door?