The other day, when Mary-Keith was visiting, we went to McDonalds. Everyone in my car ordered some sort of breakfast sandwich. and even though greasy food hurts my gallbladder and gluten makes my leg itch… I ordered a sausage egg mcmuffin. It was an impulsive decision that I’m still paying for, because the punishment has been slowly making its way through my system.
You know what else is like that?
It’s an impulsive decision that sounds great in the moment but then slowly you realize that you’ve made a huge mistake, because your leg starts itching and your stomach hurts and you feel gross. That times infinity is how it feels when someone is dishonest towards you, too.
So let’s do everyone a favor, okay? Let’s just be honest.
The other day I was able to lament to my friend Allen about life. I watched him do stretches as I aired my miseries and frustrations and my worries about how it will affect my future. Being real and vulnerable rarely seems to pay off for me. Allen said,
Boys are weird.
Girls are weird.
People are weird.
Relationships are weird.
You open up and sometimes it doesn’t work out, but it’s worth it.
I said “like risk vs reward?” My friend Nathan always talks about how he makes his decisions on the risk vs reward analysis. Allen said “Yes. The reward is worth the risk.”
I’m learning a lot about honesty. I think I’m a pretty honest person – fairly straightforward, too. Except I’m not always honest. Over the past week or so I’ve realized my fear of being “The Girl Who…” and how that’s hindered my ability to be completely real and completely honest.
The risk is worth the reward.
I implore you as a fellow human being on the earth – please be honest with each other. Be honest in the positive ways, sharing love and kindness and adoration.
And just as importantly – be honest in the ‘negative’ ways. Conflict isn’t negative. How we deal with conflict can be negative, but conflict gives us the opportunity to make each other better. Iron sharpening iron, if you will. Love me enough to confront me, but love me so much that you will stick around if your words hurt.
There are two important people in my life. Rob and Stacy Birks. I’ve always admired them and felt safe with them, but now I am confident in the safety of their relationships with me. Because they’ve loved me enough to confront me. Once Stacy confronted me on something I’d done that disappointed her. And another time Rob did. It hurt, because I never wanted to disappoint them. I cried and felt so stupid about it. Rob gave me a hug and said “this doesn’t change how we feel about you. We love you.”
and then they proved it. They continued to laugh with me and spend time with me and invite me into their home. I don’t even know if they remember the two situations, but I remember them like they happened yesterday because I learned that when you love someone, you confront them when they hurt you or disappoint you.
It doesn’t mean you come at them ready to attack. It doesn’t mean you walk into it ready to excuse all offenses. It just means you sit down with them and do what Rob and Stacy have done for me. You just say “hey you disappointed me and I love you too much to not say anything. This doesn’t change how I feel about you. I love you.”
If we want to be a good friend, we need to learn to be generous with our encouraging words, and brave with our confronting ones. That’s real, true friendship and that’s the only thing we should be okay with.