If you've ever been to Colorado Springs, you know we're located about seven inches from the sun. Anyone here with windows facing West in the summer is very familiar with the battle of window blinds versus blazing sun rays.
This time of year, though, when the toasty rays warm up chilly rooms, it's sunshine perfection. It makes for the perfect Sunday afternoon nap. On this particular Sunday I've opted for a book and cup of tea before napping.
As I sit down with a fuzzy blanket and two fuzzy dogs, I make sure it's the sunniest spot. The sun has tiptoed far enough across the room that the rays are falling on every surface. I notice how the sun exacerbates the puppy paw prints on the floor next to the sliding glass door.
Then I see it. I really see it. Dust and film everywhere. On the end table, the fireplace, the lamps and the baseboards. How had I not seen it? I sat in this same room earlier today and I didn't notice the filth. The sunshine is exacerbating every speck.
I want very much to ignore it. Just read and sip my tea. "I can't see you, I can't see you," I sing song in my head. But, it already has my attention. Prior evidence of a hand pressed on an end table shows up so perfectly it looks like crime scene investigators have been dusting for prints.
When did that dirt get there? My house was clean. Really. It was. Not perfect, but tidy. How did all this dust and shmuck land all over my home? The more I looked the more I noticed it.
The way the sun silently glided its way across the room illuminating what I hadn't previously seen seemed familiar.
Many years before, the sudden light of truth revealed the build up of filth on my soul. Layers of what others had done to me and what I had chosen for myself had been camouflaged until that point.
Once I saw it, once the light shone, I couldn't pretend it wasn't there. Oh, I wanted to. I tried for two years to look away, distract myself, and avoid the truth.
I was so shame filled at what happened to me all those years before, I vowed I'd kill myself before any of those memories saw the light of day. So, I attempted to take my own life.
I didn't want to die, I just wanted the pain to end.
Then, I got help. Real help. Emotional therapy kind of help. With a professional counselor's skillful care at just the right time and in just the right way, I found things could change. Things did change. Profoundly.
I found I could open wide the blinds of my heart. No need to keep changing the angle of the blinds to cover the pain or fear. I could live with clean motives and intensions.
It doesn't mean the rooms of my soul are always spotless. It just means I'm not afraid to let the light shine in. Dirt hides in darkness. Everyone has dirt. Some of it put there by others, some of it we ourselves let in.
Either way, the pain of it doesn't have to destroy you. Seeing and acknowledging it with a proper cleaning crew in tow can be the first step to freedom. Your heart deserves a whole lot of sunshine
If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.