Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bird of flight

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free-St. John 8:32

I was in an interview last year and the person conducting the interview asked the most standard, yet most dreaded question: "What are your weaknesses?"

And I looked at her and said "Honestly, my weakness is that I am poor at self-advocating. I have a problem telling authority when something is not working for me or when I need help. But I am working on being more forthcoming with my needs."

And she said, "So you're working on being able to tell the the truth?"

I was a bit taken aback by that rephrasing. I feel as though I am truthful. Yes, I am a master negotiator and people-pleaser. Yes, I try to avoid conflict and find consensus. But I am truthful as well. Aren't I?

"Yes, I am."
But, and its a big BUT when I review my past personal and professional relationships I know I have managed to avoid any direct confrontations. When something becomes unpleasant I am loathe to tackle it head on. I just clam up. That nervous tic that makes me smile when I feel awful appears and I find a way to just try to fly out and away from the situation, whether or not the situation itself ever gets resolved.

I realize this not a healthy solution, yet it's the one I 've been using for years.

There is this fear of being too direct. Of saying the wrong thing and coming off as offensive. Or worse, escalating the situation.

Fear is such an ugly thing. And so is being untruthful about what matters to me the most.

If when I spoke, the words somehow came out printed on beautiful parchment paper I could easily get over the awkwardness of sharing "my iced tea".

Since that can not happen I must work to open myself up to finding healthy ways to speak/live/love my truths.