So this is one of the excuses I’ve been most afraid to tackle: being afraid of hard things. When I sat down and tried to narrow that category into what specific hard things I was afraid of and why, one of the things I came up with was having difficult conversations with people that (I feared) had the potential to result in conflict… ones that I feared would mess up a relationship with someone I love and care about if I wasn’t careful enough. I’d avoid them altogether because I didn’t want to do them if I felt I couldn’t do them well.
I’ve had quite a few opportunities to overcome these excuses over the past couple of weeks since I started this challenge. And let make sure that I make this clear- this is not something I’m good at… but I am learning. One of my biggest issues as an introvert is that I’m a “stuffer.” I “stuff” my feelings- good, bad, and indifferent. The problem in doing this is that, even though I think I’m keeping the peace in a relationship by keeping my feelings to myself to deal, nothing could be farther from the truth.
“Stuffed” feelings create a whole bunch of unwanted “stuff” you don’t intend for in relationships… it clutters them up like the things you toss in your “stuff” drawer because you can’t quite decide where to put them or what to do with them.
Over time, you’re left with a mess of unrealistic expectations, warped perceptions, festering frustrations, and more. Because the thing with feelings is that they can lie. Left unexposed and “stuffed” under the surface, they can grow into bigger lies and warp our perceptions of people even further. I’m learning that it’s best to address them as soon as possible and not put them off for the “right time”… because when you’re afraid, that “right time” will never come. And it’s always the “right time” to be right relationally with someone. (click to tweet)
And that’s the ultimate goal, right? Not that I prove that myself or my feelings are right, but that I end up being right relationally with the other person. When I have these kinds of uncomfortable conversations, it gives me a chance to prove that I prioritize the person, and not my problems. It gives me a chance to put the other person and their feelings above what I’m feeling – because I value the relationship. It gives me a chance to trust them in a deeper way… and allow them to trust me. Doors become open for understanding, healing, and grace to invade. And hopefully, our hearts and our relationship end up in a much healthier place.