Just Keep the Peace

I’m going to start this entry by apologizing that it’s been a week since my last post, but it is all relevant. My week started with a heart procedure, so needless to say, writing anything was low on the totem pole of priorities.

But I share this, because some of the circumstances surrounding my outpatient surgery have inspired this post. Some family dynamics brought back memories of me being told at home, in school, in church, and pretty much everywhere that I needed to “just keep the peace. Don’t ruffle feathers. Let it be.”

This turned me into a pretty passive young adult. I spent most of my life letting people say and do what they wanted in an effort to keep the peace. Besides, I didn’t want to hurt anyone or make trouble for anyone, so I figured this was the best course of action. Unfortunately, this pushed me into some boxes and some corners and some expectations that I have spent a great deal of time, money (therapy), and energy to get out of.

Why the interest in keeping the peace… especially when there’s really not an actual peace to speak of?

The absence of conflict is NOT peace. It is most likely passive aggression, quiet resentment, depression, low self-esteem, and unresolved issues masquerading as getting along. The problem with all of these things is that they will show up – the question is how.

So what are you not doing, not saying, not trying, or continuing to do in order to keep the peace? How peaceful do you feel saying the right things for someone else while your own feelings get buried and ignored? How peaceful is staying in that marriage “for the kids” when the house is full of turmoil and you are filled with pain? How peaceful is staying at the job for the financial stability or because “the demons you know are better than the demons you don’t”?

How peaceful is it KNOWING that there is more inside you but not going for it, because you’re afraid of what might happen or what people will say? How peaceful is staying in that place or situation that is slowly killing?

As I write this, tears pour down my cheeks, because I lived in those places for way too long, and I know the pain of this kind of “peace.” Whatever the steps you need to take, however you can find to begin moving forward, do so. And if you have no idea where to start or no idea if you even have anything worth moving, reach out to someone. Reach out to me. I don’t say this lightly, but your life depends on it.

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