2019 has been quite the whirlwind. one of the themes has definitely been stepping outside of my comfort zone. whether it is in the form of creative expression like i get to regularly do with this blog or in the form of a difficult conversation (followed by intense boundary setting) with a loved one, this year has been full of conflict.
while the bulk of my close friends and family members who knew i was going to start writing publicly were supportive of my blog, there were a couple people who just couldn’t seem to get on board. it was almost as though their own lack of satisfaction with their lives was hindering them from being able to be happy or supportive of me. while i hate to admit it, for a moment, i considered not starting to blog at the beginning of this year. then, when i sat back and truly pondered why, i realized it because i was trying to avoid a potential conflict with someone close to me. i was avoiding conflict no matter the cost.
no family is perfect and mine is no exception. i talked about an incident with a family member back on my birthday in my post about my moves being misunderstood by people not meant to be on my journey. initially, it was rough cutting off someone who has been in my life for as long as i could remember but i also knew it was necessary. i knew i could no longer be involved with someone for the sake of not creating conflict within my family. i had done it for years and i had reached a breaking point. the second half of february and march felt incredibly long. sometimes, especially at the beginning, it was hard to even get moving in the morning. but as time went on, it became obvious that those feelings were not my own – they were feelings i was carrying for others. i decided to move on with my life because that was (and is) what i deserved. at the end of march, that same family member and i sat down, had an intense discussion and really unearthed some baggage. there was accountability taken for many hurtful actions and the realization that therapy might be necessary for the kind of work that needs to be done. i have never felt more at peace leaving a difficult dialogue.
both scenarios made me think about this quote:
“if you avoid conflict to keep the peace, you start a war within yourself.” -louise thompson
for years, i had avoided conflict in small or big ways. but here’s the thing – the only person who was suffering was me. i sometimes felt like i was going crazy. that is just not something i am willing to do anymore. my inner peace is invaluable. yours is, too.
what conflicts have/are you avoiding to keep the peace? has it been worth it?