What’s in Your Basement?

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Posted: November 9, 2023

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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What’s in your basement?   Strange question, I know.   Well, if yours is anything like mine there are probably some spider webs and dust bunnies.  Perhaps some old boxes filled with items you forgot you had, or maybe even things you wish you had never acquired. Chances are your basement is dark and dingy, and not one of the first places you would choose to spend your time. Certainly, it is not a place you would show off to guests in your home. “Yes, this is the kitchen, and here is the office. And have you seen our basement yet? It’s where we hid everything we didn’t want you to see.”

We all have a basement in our life.   A place where we store the wounds we don’t want others to see.   Perhaps it holds painful memories of past experiences, or the guilt, shame, and regret of choices we have made along the way.   Whatever it houses, we can all agree that it is a scary place, and one that we typically would not want to invite others to experience with us.  However,  I would argue that the basement is a place that God did not create us to step into by ourselves; in fact He wants us to invite someone in, so that we might have a friend or guide walk through the darkness with us. In this article I will explore what Scripture has to say about the yearning for companionship engrained within our souls, as well as the importance of not tackling the basement alone.

In the opening pages of Scripture God makes it clear that He did not intend for us to go through life alone.   In Genesis we learn that we were created in the image of God, as relational beings (Gen 1:26).  First and foremost, we are designed to be in relationship with our Creator. When I ask one of my children to go down into the basement to get something, their response is inevitable: “Daddy, will you come with me?” It is natural for children to ask for help and companionship when they are scared. Yet, as we grow older, we often try to face our internal battles on our own. But God wants us to ask Him, “Abba, will you come with me?” Our Heavenly Father promises to stay with us, and He serves as the source of our strength and courage (Isaiah 41:10).

God also designed for us to thrive in relationship with others.  He declared that it was not good for us to be alone (Gen 2:18). In His infinite wisdom, God knew that his children needed companionship. Deep within us is a desire to be connected.  A longing to be joined with others not only in times of joy, but also in seasons of pain. Welcoming wise counsel into our lives creates safety (Proverbs 11:14).  Identifying safe people to lean on is essential to one’s growth.   Perhaps this safety comes in the form of loving friends and family members, or possibly this role is filled by a pastor, ministry leader, or professional counselor.  Inviting trusted people into these spaces is a vital component to the growth process and can unlock one’s courage to begin their journey of healing (Proverbs 27:17).  I recall the moment that one of my clients, with tears in his eyes, and a look of relief on his face, whispered “Finally, I am not in the basement alone.”  This served as an “aha” moment for me.   This simple statement provided a glimpse of clarity into how God designed his children to function in relationships.  Our soul is comforted by simply not being alone.   It wasn’t something I said or didn’t say that contributed to his relief, rather my commitment to sit beside him in the basement.  A place that few people had been willing to sit in before.  Our souls yearn for companionship, and we should never underestimate the power of silent presence; the peace that comes from not being alone.

It’s true – basements can be scary. But when you have someone with you, they are much easier to tackle.  When I am in the basement with my children, they feel much more at ease to explore – because they know someone is there with them.  So, do you need to work on asking someone to go into the basement with you? Or do you need to be that companion for someone else?

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This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

About the Author
Greg Cooney
Greg Cooney

Greg Cooney MA, LPC has a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor, holding licensure in Illinois.

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