Something I’ve always struggled with is finding the balance between fighting for myself and standing up for myself. Fighting for myself looks like something I’ve described in previous posts – feeling attacked, as if I’m being backed into a corner. So the boxing gloves come out and I fight back, because it feels like no one is in my corner with me. Standing up for myself is knowing my worth, my values, and the way I deserve to be treated, and loving myself enough to not allow those things to be disrespected.
I have a very weird view of confrontation. I see it as “rocking the boat” or “creating drama unnecessarily”. It’s almost as if I would rather be unhappy and feel mistreated by others than stand up for myself and address the issue. But the thing is, if we don’t address problems with the people we love, the majority of the time they have no idea they’re hurting us, and the feelings are never resolved. (As always, I am preaching to the choir)
In the last couple of weeks, after visiting with my counselor for the first time since before summer began, I have been processing the concept of standing up for myself. The phrase that I have been mulling over in my mind is this:
What you allow is what will continue.
Both my mentor and my counselor tell me the same thing: confrontation is healthy, necessary, and biblically sound. It is a way of loving someone, in fact. By showing them, “Hey, I care about our relationship enough to be honest about what is hurting me so we can fix it”.
Something a good friend told me that Pastor Tim Ross had said is this: “When you’re married or in a relationship and they have done something to hurt you, if you don’t address it by the time the sun goes down and you go to sleep, it is no longer valid the next day. The slate is wiped clean and you have to move forward.” I thought about that for a while. There are so many things I hold against friends who have hurt me that I haven’t been honest with them about.
“I’ll tell them eventually. It just isn’t the right time.”
“Maybe I’ll just address it if it happens one more time.”
“Surely they know they hurt me.”
The thing is, rarely do people know to what depth their actions have affected you. And the only way to put out flames before they become forest fires is to have healthy confrontation. I’ve been attempting to put this into practice the last couple of weeks, even in small things. Being bold with my words and my feelings. Speaking confidently about what is on my mind. Telling those closest to me when something they are saying or doing is not okay with me. It’s become so much easier every time, and it is so incredibly freeing.
I love the scripture in Proverbs 28:1 that says, “…the righteous are as bold as a lion”. Yes, we are called to live lovingly and with a gentle, meek spirit. But we are also called to live with a fiery boldness.
[Boldness]: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.
Don’t hesitate with your words. Prayerfully, confidently, and boldly speak to those you love who have hurt you. Pull from the deep places inside of you the strength [and boldness of a lion] necessary to face your fear of man (hi, preaching to the choir again). You are capable. You are worth fighting for. Whatever you are feeling is worth being addressed so that your relationship is stronger in the future.