|La Fontaine Parc|
Last week i began writing on the theme of cultivating raw honesty in a relationship. My last post touched on how to create a platform and foundation for your loved ones to have a safe space. This week part 2 will be about how to create the kind of relationship where you look out for each other and call out each other on things that might pose risks to well-being.
This is a topic that passionately burns inside of me because i have been burned countless times by people who emotionally abused me under the name of looking out for me. I've had some of the most demeaning comments made to me and then get told that it's good for me and that the "truth" is simply hard for me to hear. Funny how that is exactly what women who are victims of domestic violence get told by their spouses.
Believe me when i say that when someone is looking out for you, their behavior is a far cry from emotional abuse under the guise of love. The two are like night and day and there is literally no comparison. One of the first red flags i get is when someone says they are telling me a hard truth that is really in fact abusive, it's funny how that same person will never give me positive reinforcement in my daily life when i am doing things right. I never get praise, support and encouragement on virtually anything but they are quick to rush in and point out faults in the name of "looking out for you".
Me on the other hand am always praising my loved ones with positive reinforcement. On regular basis I'm always saying "im so proud of you" "you've grown so much!" I've even written emails telling them every single positive trait about them and what i love about them.
The Bible says that salt and fresh water cannot come from the same source. So if I've been clearly demonstrating that I've got someones best interests at heart, then even if one day i have to have a hard conversation with them they know that it is coming from a place of having their best interest at heart. However if you have a toxic relationship where there is no positive reinforcement on a regular basis, then when that person comes to you saying they are doing this out of "love" for you, i find that really questionable.
So it boils down to the ultimate question of what do you do when you see something in someones life that they cannot see and you are considering bringing it up? The first consideration is your knowledge of the person's inner workings. People who rush in to say something demeaning in the name of love never consider sensitivity or timing. They just open their mouth in the name of telling u the "truth". When i am getting ready to have a hard honest conversation with someone there is literally hours of thought and prep that go into it.
I take into consideration the persons personality, insecurities and the best method of delivering what i have to say to them that will bring fruit. Also i weigh the pros and cons of my words. What is the outcome if i don't say anything to them and what is the outcome if i do? I also have to check myself 3 times over to make sure my motivations are coming from the right place and I'm not doing anything out of hurt or insecurity.
A key factor in all of this is when you've said what you have to say, let them have their own reaction and response. Simply tell them your concern and your POV but also give breathing space for them to give their interpretation of things. The show BONES is the perfect example. Brennan gives the pure facts on what the bones are telling her. But Booth is the one who is gifted in interpreting human behavior and motivation. My method of cultivating honesty is to give someone facts about what i see and whats going on. However i don't push my interpretation of things. If the other party hands me a different interpretation on what they feel is unfolding, then i welcome their POV.
Honing and harvesting raw honesty in relationships requires just as much time, work, care and cultivation as harvesting maple syrup here in Quebec. If it were easy i wouldn't have to spend an entire afternoon writing a two part blog posts of things I've gleaned from my own personal life. Instead i could be gorging myself with poutine :P
On the subject of honesty with you i'll be honest with you that the idea of being that honest with someone can be nerve-wracking. At one point i had a draft of an email to someone and i actually deleted it and thought NO WAY. But my love for my loved one overtook me and i end up rewriting it, took a deep breathe and hit the send button.
So was that email worth all the hairs at the back of my neck standing up? What i will tell you is because i did everything right with a pure heart and motivation and consideration, that email was met with a deep sense of appreciation when the other party saw how far I'm willing to go to look out for their well-being. When i went to bed that night, raw honesty had begun to ooze from our relationship the way liquid gold oozes from the maple trees....