When you hear the phrase “unwanted guests,” what comes first to your mind? Do you think of bugs and other critters that would require an exterminator? Or, instead, do you think of some relatives that come more often than you’d like, or stay longer than you’d prefer?
The type of unwanted guests I have in mind are the ones who damage your home – not your physical home, but instead, your emotional home. For example, there’s the guest who enters your home and proceeds to hurl accusations at you, reminding you of all your past mistakes. She would be called “guilt.” Or the one who insults you, pointing out all the things you’re not doing well and reminding you that you should be doing better. She would be called “the critic.” In addition, you’ve probably encountered the one who gets to the core, reminding you that who you are is not enough; not pretty enough, not smart enough, or not successful enough. She would be called “shame.”
The obvious question then, is, why would you let people like that into your home; why would you spend time with them? Of course I’m not talking about real people here, but rather, parts of us that live within ourselves. Unfortunately, for most women, these unwanted guests seem to sneak in without your awareness. Then, the longer they stay, the more confident they become; consequently, the more damaging their behaviors.
Over time, the presence of unwanted guests damages the relationship with yourself. Since that relationship is the foundation for all your other relationships, it affects everything. The situation might sound helpless, but it’s not. With some very simple steps you can eliminate those unwanted guests, and restore your home.
First, remind yourself that you are no longer a helpless child. Today, you are a mature adult with the ability to make wise choices. Make the decision and follow through; tell the unwanted guests (in no uncertain terms) that they are to leave and leave NOW! You might even consider writing an eviction note to them. It might sound a bit dramatic, but I assure you it can be extremely empowering.
By Invitation Only
The second step is to extend an invitation to the guests you enjoy: Invite those who are helpful and encouraging, those who love and support you. Also, welcome those who speak the truth in love, who hold you accountable and yet affirm you. Open your arms wide to those types of guests, and allow them to stay indefinitely.
As you learn to live with guests whom you wisely choose, you’ll experience the peace, confidence and joy of living wholeheartedly.