I realize that with some of the recent crap, some people may find my post about reconciliations hypocritical.
I’m a very passionate person. I’m outspoken, and I prefer to tell someone exactly what I think instead of playing any games. Nobody has to wonder where they stand with me if we interact at all.
I also consider it important to act with love, no matter what my emotions say about any particular person. I’m not talking about the fuzzy-wuzzy, rainbows and bunnies kind of love. I mean acting as I sincerely believe is best for all parties concerned. Katie is my top priority when there’s a conflict between what may be best for someone, followed by Sam and myself, then our other loved ones.
I consider it unloving for anyone to enable unhealthy behaviors. It sucks when you have to take steps to establish or keep your boundaries with someone for whom you feel affection, especially, but it’s the most loving thing to do. It’s the loving thing to do with ANYONE, in fact.
In recovery circles, people often refer to “the elephant in the living room.” They’re talking about being in denial about some serious problem, ignoring it like trying to walk around an elephant in the midst of the living room despite the fact that it’s very obviously there. There’s nothing loving about pretending that the elephant isn’t there, and there’s nothing loving about pretending that someone who is making really bad choices is perfectly fine.
Yes, it can be easier (in the short term) to just ignore problems. Many times it’s easier to simply disassociate from someone instead of pointing out a serious problem, and when a relationship isn’t important, it might be the wisest course of action. It isn’t particularly loving, though. And in cases where the relationship IS important, or cannot be dissolved (for example, when you have children with the other person), just avoiding dealing with it isn’t a viable option.
It’s also often easier to walk away from conflicts and injustice than to confront them. I come from a background that really encouraged me to avoid ANY conflict, to just walk away, to pretend not to hear attacks and insults, to react passive-aggressively if at all. That wasn’t healthy for me.
I don’t ignore what I perceive to be injustice now. I won’t ignore any significant attack on me and mine, especially from someone who has an insoluble relationship with my life partner. I do choose to disassociate with some people, but I won’t make any attempt to deny why I’m doing so in those situations even if being honest causes someone to get pissed off.
If I’ve chosen to disassociate from you or have simply refused contact with you in some way, believe it or not, I do perceive that as the most loving thing for all concerned. If you don’t agree, tell me so. Tell me why you think so. Tell me what you think would have been, or would be, more loving. Tell me what, if anything, has changed.
If I care about you, I’m going to be extremely honest with you. I’ll tell you what I think. I will, in fact, practice radical honesty with you—and I’ll stick around to deal with the results. If you need to get angry and blow off steam, I’ll still be around. If you need to go process and get back to me on the issue, that’s fine. I’m not going to let it be swept under the rug, though. We will talk whatever it is out because I care about you and the relationship I have with you.
If you think I’ve wronged you in some way, I want to know about it. If you think that I have acted unlovingly toward you, I want to know. If I have already acknowledged failure or offense and have attempted to make amends, but you don’t feel that it’s enough, tell me. I want to know what you do want from me, what would help. I may not agree with you, but I will communicate with you, and I hope that we can move forward.
I’d prefer to carry on those conversations privately because I think both of us can speak more openly that way. If you feel a need to do it in LJ comments, go ahead.
BTW—there’s nobody banned from commenting in my journal. Non-friends posts are screened by default, but that’s it.