Smiling Skeletons, by Ross Rosenberg

A Poem about Healing and Transformation

Walking down the usual paths in my life,
without a thought,
without a plan,
I unexpectedly found myself
mysteriously drawn
toward the direction
of my childhood home.

This repository of childhood dreams,
was barely recognizable
and frighteningly familiar.
Although ladened with bittersweet memories
I was beckoned toward it.

A memory of the child I was,
whispered to me,
encouraged me
to approach the front door,
grasp the door knob.
Feel its cold metal welcome.
And enter the haunted domain
of my childhood.
Long not visited,
long avoided.

Until now,
I have not had the energy:
To enter rooms long closed to me.
To open up closets.
Expose dark clutter to the light of day
Fearlessly sift through memories.
Feel that which has been safely frozen in time.

My neatly packaged
stowed away memories,
took a new surprising form:
Transforming into skeletons.
Clattery boned friends
comprised of loosely connected parts
of the child I was.

The battle between
the effort needed to be honest,
and the courage to explore the truth,
kept me out of these rooms.
Kept me far from these sacred closets.
Disallowing me to fully accept
this bittersweet memories of my youth.

I think I am ready now
to sustain an episode
of honest recollection.
To venture into darkly lit closets.
To bring the past into the present.
To face my skeletons.

I am no longer the same child,
who with nervous and frightful glee
watched the Saturday night horror movies,
That showcased the dancing bony demons.
And being afraid to sleep.

With each skeleton I encounter,
I find I can open my eyes without fright.
And see that they actually smile at me,
Explaining to me,
with their dark happy and kind eyes:
It is now ok to remember.

Ok to let go.
Ok to close the closet.
Ok to go home.
And Ok start living in the present.

I have spent a lifetime avoiding skeletons.
Now they are my friends.

Ross Rosenberg
March 26, 2006

More information about Ross and his resources at Self-Love Recovery Institute.

Ross Rosenberg

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, is an international codependency, narcissism, trauma, and sex& love addictions expert who provides psychotherapy, training and consultation services. Ross is a keynote speaker and trainer, presenting in 27 states and 3 countries. He owns Advanced Clinical Trainers and Clinical Care Consultants, an Arlington Heights IL counseling center. He wrote the best-selling book, "The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us." Ross’s YouTube channel contains 75 instructional/educational videos, which have over 2.6 million views and amassed 24,000 subscribers. He has been on ABC Late Night, a ABC "Swiped" documentary, Fox News and WGN News. His work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune & Publishers Weekly and he blogs for The Huffington Post, &

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