I saw a quote the other day from Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed. It read: “Nice is a peacekeeper. Honest is a peacemaker.”
I read it a few times and really let it soak in. I AM a peacekeeper in every sense of the word. I despise conflict: it makes me unbelievably uneasy. I flutter around comforting and lullabying everyone’s uncomfortableness in order to avoid any unnecessary outbursts, because to me, conflict is processed as just that: An unnecessary outburst. I run around putting Band-Aids on cuts that have not even happened yet.
There was a time when I would have said a world without conflict would be a beautiful thing and something to strive for. But no, in all actuality it would be a terrible thing! Without conflict there is no truth. There is no authenticity and boundaries cannot be established. Without boundaries we have no borders; the lines of where we stop, and the world begins are transparent and in that transparency, there is no hope for grounding or attaining any personal growth.
No conflict means you are invalidating virtually every feeling or emotion that you or someone you love is carrying. Avoiding conflict is admitting that you are focusing and working only on the immediate and failing to cultivate the long term. No conflict will keep a hand over your mouth forever and isolate you from ever experiencing true intimacy. Your loved ones deserve to trust that your words are your truth and that is what they love, not the model you send out to speak on your behalf. Your loved ones deserve to trust that all the small, mundane issues aren’t being kept in your back-pocket building resentment; they shouldn’t fear the day the damn breaks. They deserve the real you.
You cannot establish trust with complacency. In your compliance you are hiding and sheltering the undeniable you. Maybe that you is afraid-Maybe that you doesn’t feel worthy of unconditional love; perhaps you believe that you will only be loved as long as you are a pleasant, good girl with an agreeable temperament. Maybe that you feels frail and small. Is it possible that the “you” you’re trying to protect with a smile really needs to be fed with “I disagrees” and “I feel’s” so that it can grow proud, strong and true? Maybe you could try whispering to that you – “Tell me. I will still love you in this awkward and uncomfortable space.”
I pride myself on being a nice person. I work hard at that shit but maybe I work too hard. Reading that quote made me think; What would I rather be? Nice or HONEST? I would much rather marry the two than to keep my truths hidden behind a smile. I would rather honorably evolve with my authenticity than to halt any growth with my pleasing disposition. I promise you- your niceness can cause a lot of destruction. Live in love and in truth. We are givers and healers; we are not pretenders.