Just thinking about writing this post has been very hard for me. I know that I have been needing to write it for sometime now. I think that a part of me has been scared because being vulnerable is really scary but just when I started thinking that, I knew that I needed to write it. Chatting about some things in life can be uncomfortable and inconvenient but at the same time if we do not talk about it, the lack of peace we will have in our hearts will be so alive that at times it is hard to breathe.
I am talking about confrontation. Just that word alone sounds scary right? Maybe it is just me but All my life I have been terrible with confrontation. Even if something is eating me up inside I would rather just pretend that nothing is wrong. Problem is When I am upset my face and actions are telling a different story haha. Even though I may not be confronting the issue with words my actions will be an out pouring of what is happening in my heart.
You see the condition of our heart is the very reason why we sometimes make the decisions we do. Yes for a while we it can seem as though we are keeping it all a float but sooner or later the cup runs over and what ever was in it spills out into our relationship either with loved ones, friends or family. If what is in our hearts is healthy then confrontation becomes a thing that is something with a resolve at the end of it. I think that sometimes we think that all confrontation needs to be bad and horrible therefore the outcome is too. If your heart is in a healthy place then when ever you voice your concerns to someone it will be out of a mindset to always want to make things right where as if your heart is in a place where it has walls around it, unhealthy thinking or bitterness then the thought of confrontation is scary because you will always be heading into a conversation with a defensive spirit or an attitude of just not really caring.
What I have come to learn is that the lack of healthy confrontation comes from a place of pride and stubbornness because we have not come to a place where we realise our faults or where we could have gone wrong, so we put up walls because the last thing we want is for someone to actually tell us what they think only to maybe hear a truth about you that is not so nice. Also If you can not confront your own faults inside yourself there really is no way that you can confront it with someone else. Pride and confrontation do not work well in the same sentence. In order to confront we need humility, vulnerability and a soft yet guarded heart.
Why am I telling all of this? Basically I am saying that after lots of heart break this year due to lost friendships I have learnt many things about myself that I needed to change.
1: Getting my heart in a good place.
If my heart is bitter then My outlook on my relationships will be too. If My heart is pure then it means my intentions, actions and words will be too. By no means am I saying I am perfect with this but I do make it a conscious effort to check in with myself.
2: I had remember that somethings may have been my fault.
Man this is not easy. The biggest thing I knew I was doing wrong was just shutting people out which resulted in alot of non confrontational fights ( you know, the ones where you and your friend are both irritated but you don’t tell each other. ) I did this because I did not want the pain of confronting the issue. I did not want to have issues you know, I just wanted care free friendships where we just have good times and I believe that yes that is such an amazing thing to want but the reality of life is that there will be challenges and there will be things that you will need to deal with and pushing them under the rug doesn’t make them go away.
3: I needed to break down my walls of pride and try make right any wrongs I had caused.
It is one thing to realise that you were wrong but it takes a brave soul to go say sorry. Even if the person you are having a disagreement is 95% wrong, the 5% where you were wrong requires an apology. If that friendship means anything to you then we can not let pride get in the way. Now in a perfect world when you say sorry it would be amazing if the other person said sorry back but life does not always work out that way, sometimes you will put yourself out there and the other person does not meet you half way but I think the most important thing to learn here is that when you say sorry don’t say it to get the same in return, say sorry because You have been convicted and because you want peace in your heart.
4: I needed to let myself be vulnerable and voice my thoughts even if it meant having an uncomfortable conversation.
Now I am not saying every time something small bothers you that you need to confront someone. Most of the time some people don’t even realise that they are hurting us and if there is something niggling in our spirits I would suggest taking it to God first. Most things work itself out and not everything needs to be intense. However there are times when you need to say what you need to say in love and with kindness. There is a saying that goes ” if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all ” I fully agree!!!! If what you want to say is out of reaction and not response then keeping quiet is your best option, but I would like to go even further as to say, why would response never be the answer. If someone has taken the time to share their heart with you on a matter then its just common desency to respond back, the only reason they have nothing to say back is because they don’t value you as much as you deserve and then well, the friendship is not a loss because there clearly was no friendship to begin with.
Lastly I just want to say that you need to value yourself. Choosing the people you do life with can either build you or they will not and the people that do not build you will grow you! Choose to live in peace knowing that you did and said all you can. Choose to confront confontation with a pure heart.
Images by Justin Govender