There are many large, extravagant homes in the world, but the Winchester Mansion stands out from the crowd because of the strange features you will find inside. For example, there are a number of staircases that literally go nowhere, stopping at the ceiling. You might think that somebody decided to close off a staircase, but actually, they were designed that way.
Some of the more functional staircases are also strange. One of them is nicknamed the "switchback staircase" because it turns seven times and has 44 steps, even though it only goes up about nine feet. Why would somebody design a staircase like that?
For that matter, why would somebody design any of the oddities in the Winchester house?
The Winchester house was under construction 24-hours a day, seven days a week, for 38 years. Eventually it spread to 160 rooms from a mere 8, but when Sarah Winchester suddenly died, the entire project came to a grinding halt.
How this correlates to our lives?
Most of us haven’t built a senseless mansion with secret rooms or staircases that don't go anywhere, but maybe your life is a terrible mess, or you live in constant fear, with a broken heart, resentment, regret or uncertainty of what your future holds.
This causes you to feel addicted and trapped like Sarah, yet for different reasons. Sarah was the wife of William Winchester, the son of the man who made the famous Winchester repeating rifle. Sarah and William had one child, a little girl named Annie, who died of a protein deficiency six weeks after birth. Fifteen years later, her husband William died of pulmonary tuberculosis, leaving her feeling lost & searching for answers.
Sarah sought answers from a psychic who indicated she and her family were under a curse due to selling Winchester riffles and the only method of escape was to move to the West Coast and build a property the way the spirits led.
Sarah was so desperate for a solution that she didn’t pay attention to the obvious-there was another way of probable escape from her loneliness. Ultimately Sarah found herself knee deep in renovation madness which ensued 24-hours per week, 365 days per year. Who in their right mind would sign up to live through constant remodeling?
I think of the many times I’ve repeatedly wrestled with frustrating esteem debilitating issues, only to believe my options were limited (or non-existent) because of failing to open myself to the possibility that things could be different.
So how do we get past our past?
You have to reduce everything down to the least common denominator.
The common denominator is the same all the time. You can work the common denominator and ultimately arrive at an answer. There is a feasible answer to each troubling question, no matter the situation, which WORKS.
Discovering the common denominator is the ONLY way to get past our past. It reveals the quality decision needing to be made, including the measurable, actionable steps.
1st: Face the truth about the situation we are dealing with. Honestly describe what you’re dealing with and TEMPORARILY grieve the circumstance. You’re human; hurt, anguish and defeat are normal emotions.
2nd: Identify solutions and those resources (people, books, cd’s, etc), which helps to conquer the circumstance, repeatedly undermining you.
3rd: Get moving by actively applying what’s been learned. This is the place many fail. This occurs namely due to a couple reasons: a) complacency, b) hopelessness, and/or c) pride.
I recall a painful experience where a stepchild inappropriately rejected me. Initially I was shocked! My feelings progressed to frustration, anxiety and resentment. This began to take a toll on my relationship and my self-esteem.
I felt deeply wronged, criticized and was told to just get over it, without the opportunity to address the issue which had progressed to “issues.”
So what to do?
Ultimately I recognized the pain and blatant disrespect had more to do with the stepchild, their ‘relational way of accepted being;’ this wasn’t personal, just simply RUDENESS allowed by their parent and other relatives, preoccupied with looking good, rather than providing clear boundaries and NECESSARY correction.
This understanding was my catalyst for change. It’s far too easy to personalize the attack and perceive it from an improper perspective and actually remain stuck there.
I still am applying steps 2 and 3 to my life circumstance. Some days are easier than others, namely because I don’t always feel supported. The thing which, helps, is to remind myself of the truth, to trump the horrific facts.
Life boils down to a quality decision. Decide optimally and you’ll renovate the mess of a life previously made in no time. Soon, your new life will be second nature.
If you will commit to this life changing way of thinking, you’ll understand, like me that “CIRCUMSTANCES DON’T MAKE ME, THEY REVEAL ME.”
Thank God we all are provided the opportunity to CHANGE.
To your greatness