“Love yourself enough that you are okay disappointing people.”
I said that to a coaching client yesterday and I think it’s a really important concept to understand and fully grasp.
We sometimes hold back our truth because we are scared the other person won’t be able to handle it, that it will be too much for them, that WE will be too much for them and they’ll pull or push away. So we bite our tongues and we bottle it up, keeping secrets inside locked up tight. Occasionally, we throw away the key and convince ourselves this is how it must be, but what we’re really saying when we do this is three separate things.
First, “I don’t want you to feel bad when you hear this, so I’ll choose to feel bad by not saying it. I will hurt so you won’t.” We sacrifice ourselves so they won’t feel pain, but in doing so we collect hurt that isn’t ours to carry. Unnecessary burdens become best friends until the bitter end. And it will end bitterly because there is no happy ending for carrying unnecessary pain. It will slowly eat us away inside, manifesting as anxiety, depression, self-doubt and despair until we become brave enough to really share how we feel, what we want, and who we are.
Second, “I don’t think you’re strong enough to deal with this.” When we judge people as not brave enough, or ready enough, or strong enough to deal with us, we deny that person a chance to grow, to step up, to improve, and to deal with the heaviness that life sometimes provides. By withholding our truth we deny them a chance to prove their own strength and in doing so, we keep them weak. Read that again. And maybe once more. Often times we are so focused on ourselves and our pain that we neglect to reflect on the opportunities we bring to the table when we share wholeheartedly with others. Truth is an invitation for their expansion and our connection.
Finally, we’re guessing that we know how they will think, act, or respond, but maybe we’ll be wrong. Maybe they’ll be proud of us for being honest. Maybe it will all work out just fine. Maybe it will foster connection or intimacy. Maybe they are stronger than we think. Maybe they will surprise us in the best way possible. You never really know until you do it and your actions prove it.
The real kind thing to do is just to speak your truth.