I really struggle to disagree with people. I have differences of opinions often and I am not shy to speak my mind but I always walk away shaking.
I really don’t like having hard conversations with people. At the same time though, I am also completely convinced that authenticity and honesty go hand in hand, so hard conversations follow this philosophy I live by.
Does this make it easy though?
If I tell someone I disagree with them, if I have to tell someone “no”, if I have to have a hard conversation, my heart quakes for days. I may look hard on the outside, but I am honestly soft real close by. It’s like I was created like Creme Caramel. I look like Im tough to break, but a quick tap and the custard flows fast and thick.
Maybe it is because I care deeply for people and struggle with the uneasy place in our relationship. I don’t know, but lately I have been feeling the weight of hard conversations more than ever before.
I wish I could just keep my mouth shut.
I wish I could stop the conversation before it gets awkward.
But I really don’t want to spend time in shallow relationships, keeping things nice and clean, just so it doesn’t ever get awkward.
I want to keep things real. Super real and that is not an easy path.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Finding peace and serenity in the area of relationships is not about brushing over wrongs quickly, it is having courage to live reasonably happy in the midst of difference.
Ghandi was well known to be a person who often spoke his mind but was a constant advocate for peace. He wrote this about friendship;
What a fabulous thought. We do not need to be the same to be deep spirited friends. It is okay to have differences between friendships and hold onto that which created the union in the first place.
Just like the beginning of this poetic prayer states, in friendship to find a way to let go that which we cannot change and have courage to change which we can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Imagine if we applied this wisdom to our realm of friendships.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about who I call my friends and I am more determined than ever to engage my heart and life with those who are on the journey with me but also to hold people lighter than ever before.
In the past I was known to be someone who cared deeply for my friends.
In fact a lot of them with a heart that was so in the right place, would try to change my friends for the better.
These days I am learning that this is not my place or right. I want to be someone who is honest. I want to be a friend that accepts difference. Someone who speaks life and truth, but doesn’t own the result of those changes.
It is not our place to change people.
It is not our place to change friends.
However honest difference means that we speak the truth with care and love, holding people lightly, allowing them to transition seasons with grace and know that sometimes, some friends don’t shift into the season you are now in.
It doesn’t change the beauty of what you experienced together though.
It doesn’t change the past.
What if we engaged healthily in the movement and changing tides of people’s lives and helped them to be released into light and love?
What if we loved deeply, but held on lightly?
I totally believe it is possible.
In the area of friendships and relationships I am learning to not insist that friends think the same as me, I am learning to accept difference, but at the same time speak the truth in love.
What a crazy, audacious plan in the area of our friends and family. Can we love people enough to allow them to make their own decisions and live differently to us but create opportunities where we can be so honest that it doesn’t break the fragile place between us.
Some big thoughts this Sunday Eve,
Sleep well truth seekers,