It is the path of least resistance that makes rivers and men crooked.
– B.J. Palmer, father of chiropractic
Struggling to find your voice
In the face of conflict we might be tempted to just go with the flow and not make waves. The path of least resistance is saying “yes” when you want to say “no” and that road is always paved with regrets and mistakes. While compromise is good and a necessary part of healthy relationships, no one should have to fully deny their feelings and remain voiceless while others dominate a situation. It might feel easier to nod your head and passively agree, but in the long run you are being cheated. While there might be a whole list of justifications and excuses for stepping off the path of your principles, staying true to yourself reaps countless more rewards than selling out to appease someone else. Reconcile today the negative passivity you have displayed in the past.
Brought to you by Sparkpeople’s Healthy Reflections.
Staying true to myself. A very difficult thing to do. I am not a selfish person by nature. I want to please everyone. I want to make THEM happy, even at the risk of being unhappy myself. I might give up something I want just to make the situation peaceful, without conflict. And I know….it’s not right. It’s not the best for me. My friend over at The Grown up Child, a blog about children of divorce would say, my nature is to be pleasing, because it is how I coped when my parents divorced. I bent. I agreed. I pleased. I wanted all my parents to be happy. I didn’t want to rock the boat.
In later years, my teens, I would deal with alcoholism from both sets of parents. Whatever boundaries I might have tentatively established were pretty much wiped out during those trails. Welcome to co-dependency. It took until my mid-thirties to really come to terms with me. Discover healing, standing up for myself, being selfish, and truly leading a life that I wanted. One with boundaries and principles. It was very difficult. That wasn’t comfortable for me. And I couldn’t do it completely on my own, my strength wasn’t just mine. I had a lot of help with God next to me, guiding me, and giving me the courage.
I say all that because it is SO easy to knock it all down. One yes. One turning the other cheek. One compromise. One pleasing moment too many. It all trembles. YEARS of work. YEARS of building come to a crashing cliffhanger. The difference between then and now? I understand what is going on. I can plug the hole, move the stone, and stop the tremulous swaying. But it takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of faith. It takes overcoming the FEAR of failing. The FEAR of rejection.
Right now, this reflection speaks to me because I have conceded one too many times in the last few years. Maybe I pursued the wrong choice. Maybe I compromised my convictions. Let things go one too many times. Whatever the case, it has produced negativity and strife in my life, not to mention utter passiveness, which has spilled over – personally – affecting my nature for the worst. I have dishonored my work ethics. I am not reaching my best, nor am I staying true to myself, and the integrity I hold dear. Integrity I worked YEARS to build.
I have also ignored signs of boundary struggles that my daughter is having. She is only fifteen. This is a very important time in her life. I don’t want her to go through the struggles I had. Thankfully, I can talk to her. My experiences can help her understand what she is going through. I didn’t have anyone at her age to help me with that. Of course, I won’t make decisions for her. I will only help her know she has choices and she does not have to say yes when she wants to say no. To anyone. Not even family. Not even me. She has a voice.
And I remember something else too, I have to turn up the volume on my voice. The one that speaks for me. My values. My honor. I will not settle for less. I might not make a lot people happy with what I choose, but I have to stay true to me. True to my family. True to what will give us the greatest life possible. Jason, Sydney, Molly and Bridget are worthy of that. And do you know what that is? A healthy, happy me. Sound selfish? You bet. I only have this time, this moment, these years to make a positive impact on the family I love. I will not be passive. I will not cheat myself for any means. I have justified my situation for far too long and it’s time to change for the better.
So tell me, how do you find your voice when it seems lost in the roar of life? What affirmations do you tell yourself to stand firm in what you believe?