I don’t know why I’ve always been so afraid of honesty. I’m not a compulsive liar, I’ve never been one to falsify my life… but a white lie and a lie of omission are still lies nonetheless, right?
I’m talking about not telling someone when they’ve hurt you, about keeping conflict bottled up instead of resolving it. Or when people ask you if you’re okay and you immediately reply with “oh I’m fine, just tired” even though you’re not fine.
I think my lifelong excuse has always been that I never want to hurt someone. I am afraid of making others feel anything other than happiness, so even when I’m hurting, I’ll keep my mouth shut so the other person will never have to feel bad that they’ve hurt me.
At the root of it I think I’ve just been a coward. Honestly I think I’ve just been so afraid that if I somehow offend someone I like they’ll leave. You know, that would explain all of the times I ended up walking away from a relationship that might have been easily repaired had I learned to resolve conflict well early on… I would always rather be the one to leave than to be the one left behind.
But there is beauty in being honest. Yes, being honest requires you to be open and vulnerable (which we all know I already have a hard time with), but I believe that it’s worth it in the end.
Story time: The past weekend I was feeling hurt by someone. Extremely hurt if I’m going to be honest… but this person had no idea. I spent probably 24 hours trying to figure out a game plan about how I could just magically fix everything. I went through the cycle again: Should I leave? Should I stay and be silent? Etc, etc. Luckily through the grace of God and patience from my friends who helped me process, I let myself choose another option: just tell them how you feel. Honesty… it was just brutal and plain honesty. The second that I let go of the need to have a fully processed and fleshed out plan was the second I felt God’s pleasure on my decision.
I have spent my entire life hiding from my feelings, pushing aside the hurt others caused me in order to life a conflict free life. But a conflict free life is a half lived life in my opinion. The way I used to live my life staggered my growth as a woman tremendously; not to mention I lost a lot of wonderful people along the way.
To finish off the story, telling the person about how I was feeling was literally the best choice I could have made. We’re happier, closer, stronger, and we understand each other better. Not to mention the fact that the huge weight and hurt I had carried was lifted off.
I wonder how many friendships I could have saved had I just been honest.
-Soli Deo Gloria