Recently I’ve heard a lot about the different ways that people deal with emotional situations and the truth and change.  It seems that, while change is inevitable and healthy, people are afraid of it and want to avoid it, postpone it, or ignore it, sometimes at all costs.  And this interferes with the truth and it causes emotions to go from normal and healthy to “Holy Crap!”  Some of the salient points of these situations is not wanting to cause emotions, not wanting to make things worse, not feeling safe to say the truth because of how it will be taken, and not wanting to deal with the situation or even needing to control it.

So here’s the deal.  Change happens.  Organically or through an ‘act of God’ which violates the human warranty we change.  It is in how we change and how we respond during the changing process that molds the final outcome and what we have to work with when we get to the other side.  Speaking the truth about something can be hurtful to the receiving party or even to bystanders, but done with integrity and good boundaries it can lead to healing, reconciliation, and deeper relationship.  Or it can lead to the ending of a relationship that needed ending for a variety of reasons.  It’s short-term pain for long-term gain and why scary and anxiety making, it’s usually for the best.  Which is a grand generalization and each situation has its own unique constraints.  If your object is to save your marriage, coming clean about your most egregious affairs and flings while at a church couples retreat is probably not your best option.  Less said the better on that one…

What can cause long-term harm is holding back a truth that is actively on your mind or is affecting your relationship with another person. If you’re mad at them, unless you are an Oscar-worthy actor, they are going to know it and just not know why.  Which could lead to questions and to prevarication, hurt feelings, a deeper pit to dig your way out of, etc, etc.  Trying to keep the truth hidden, trying to control the message, or avoid hurting someone by keeping silent usually makes the issue much worse when it comes out and causes long-term damage that is sometimes hard to resolve.  And the starting point is usually “Why did you not tell me this?  Why did you wait so long?”  Never a good thing to have to explain because you rarely have good reasons…again with the hole digging.

You can’t stop changes from happening.  You are constantly changing, so are all your relationships as well as everyone around you, possibly in equal measure.  Trying to stop that or avoid that flies in the face of physics.  So I suggest that you start setting the boundary for yourself right now.  Things are going to change, so allow the change.  In fact, work with it to create something new that is healthy and proactive and reflects who you are becoming.  Speak your truth gently, compassionately, but with strength and integrity.  You’ll be doing everyone around you a favor and make yourself available to all kinds of new relationships and new opportunities.