Excuses are pesky beasts that steal our will to accept our responsibility to change.  Excuses come in to our thoughts because we allow fear to open the door.  Our feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence house our fears.

Is it time to clean house?

She’s been in an abusive relationship for the past ten years, and as she cries in my office while re-living those big red flag signs of torture, I ask her … do you want the situation to change?

Nodding her head, she says, “Of course I do.  But …”

No matter the tremendous what if’s, no matter the perceived reasons that change isn’t going to happen, the first step is looking within to the house of her Spirit.  Her own responsibility.  Her fears.  Her inadequacies.  She was a victim … but because she feels without choice to change she has locked herself in the house of fear.

“I am abusing myself.”  Responsibility.  She tells me, “I am in a relationship with me, and I don’t treat myself with anything but condemnation.  When did I start to feel this way, and why can’t I change it?”

Suggestions of counseling are met with excuses.  There is no health insurance, it is too expensive.  I can’t drive.  It’s too far.  My counselor won’t see me every week.  I hate therapy.  It doesn’t work.  No one can really help me.

Others try to get her out of her house more often, friends who call to keep her from isolating.  Yet, she tells them, “I don’t feel good.  I don’t have any money.  I can’t leave, I don’t have a babysitter.  I just want to be alone.”

Another beautiful woman, miles away, sits in her bedroom with her laptop and tells her online friends that she doesn’t ever see how things are going to get better.  She reads through all of the inspirational post cards and cries, not because they empower her, but because it’s not that easy.  The chat room fills with good hearted and well intentioned people across the expanse of the country who cheer her on, and give bits and pieces of lack luster validation that will not last past her shut down key.  She will be alone tonight when she cries.

In a tiny office another woman dons a mask of resilience, and puts on air’s that she is so well put together that she is unbreakable.  During the day she feels pity for the other women who talk about issues better kept quiet and to themselves, and she wonders why people just can’t get over crap.  Hours later after her high heel stiletto’s are kicked onto the plush entry way carpet, she sits in her living room with a glass of wine and promises to herself, “Just one drink won’t hurt.”  Just when she tells herself, “I’m fine.  I’m absolutely fine,” she finishes the second bottle of wine and rushes to the cabinet to see if she actually did throw out the Vodka she meant to the last time she binged.  No one must ever know.

Excuses clutter our ability to take responsibility for our own change.  How do we get rid of the excuses?  We face the fear.  We admit our vulnerability, and we get to the root of our feelings of inadequacies.  Map them out, put them down on paper – take away their power and admit to yourself that you’ve had enough.  It’s time to clean house. Time to really reach out, in your truth.  Without excuse.

Tell your story a new way; to yourself.  Face yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful.  That you can succeed.  That you can be real.  That you have value.  When you’re tempted to tell someone about all of the terrible things you are going through; STOP.  Take a deep breath, and Change your Words.

“I am not happy or fulfilled in my life right now, yet I am STRONG and I CAN change.  I’ve survived this much, this far, and I haven’t caved.  No more excuses.  I deserve MORE.”

You’re not alone.  We are all these women.  What we’re doing hasn’t been working so far … so let’s tear down the house of isolation and expose the lies we’ve been telling ourselves.  Let’s take back our power.

Choose to Change.  It starts within.  No more excuses!