Walking on Eggshells

Eggshell walking

I picked up this skill as a child with my father who would have angry outbursts for reasons I never understood. I learned to stay silent to avoid the chaos and constant conflict. I never knew where I stood with him. His love always seemed conditional and I never felt secure with it. Flash forward to one of my long term relationships and I saw myself doing the same thing. I was never certain why my ex was mad at me. I would avoid any conversation that I thought would upset him. His love, I was certain, was very conditional. It was only present if I acted a certain way or never complained. The real voice in me that would have liked to ask questions for clarity or just have conversation was stifled and buried. I always felt uncertain. And I felt he would purposefully withdraw and withhold his love, to punish me in some way.

Now, I have largely moved away from this pattern, but wow, does it still linger. I catch myself doing this: immediately apologizing when someone expresses anger at me for what I’ve said, internalizing that it was my fault and accepting blame, beating myself up for not being kinder, more sensitive or a better listener, saying nothing as to not cause conflict. Have you ever done this? Or told yourself any of these things too?

I grow a little frustrated wondering if I always need to be perfect in my actions and speech. People hurt me with their words as is the way of the world, but I think about it for a bit, then let it go. Why can’t I be afforded the same consideration? Why is it okay for everyone else to be sensitive, but I can’t also be sensitive as well? Why is saying what you think, even if it was incorrect or maybe not even that nice, such a deal breaker? Why do people only accept you if you are easy? What soul growth is there from a relationship like that—one without any challenge is not likely to cause you to grow to new heights.

I have a friend; a very bold friend. She speaks her truth with ease and with no apologies. Sometimes I channel her voice in my head when I’m talking to people. Ah, I wish I could do what she freely can without reservation. Speak up without worrying about how the other person will react to it. I’m learning from her. I keep hearing the words Radical Acceptance in my head (an excellent book from Tara Brach I read years ago).

My advice: Don’t withhold your affection, if you do in fact have true affection. Let the other person talk and speak their truth. Remember, it doesn’t mean you have to accept it or that it is even “the truth.” Have conversations. Don’t just turn away from the other person because their words makes you uncomfortable.

PSA: Laura is not perfect. She is human, having a human experience on Earth. She is definitely not ascended. She messes up, sometimes royally. She says things she regrets. She hopes you can let it go. She can.

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