I hope you had a great and stress-free holiday with your family and/or loved ones!
I just spent the week with my family, and one thing I know for sure is family is complicated.
What I don't want you to know about me is that I'm having difficulty with one of my family members.
I help people work on their relationships for a living, but I still struggle with some of my own. This struggle makes me human.
But it feels particularly challenging because I think I'm "not allowed to have these struggles". I got that idea from thinking I should be the master of relationships in order to coach others on their relationships.
Not true. That's a story.
...A story that has NOT been helping me manage my struggling relationship.
I went to Thanksgiving knowing that I would be having a much needed, but tough, conversation with this family member.
Just the idea of a conversation like that can create anxiety, fear, and all kinds of crazy ideas about how it might go. Your mind can come up with all kinds of reasons to avoid the conversation, and why you shouldn't have it at all.
I didn't listen.
I walked straight towards my fear. I had the conversation. And then I had another tough conversation. And another over the course of my trip.
The funny thing about facing your fear is that you get better at it. It's actually a skill that can be acquired. And your fears actually get less scary.
The problem is not fixed.
You were thinking this story had a happy ending, didn't you?! Well, it does and it doesn't.
From the tough conversations came progress. But not perfection. The problems my relationship faces are still there, but they've been faced. They've been spoken out loud. They've been heard. This is the only way they can be worked on and hopefully move towards a better outcome.
Why am I telling you this?
I'm not telling you this sappy story so that you feel sorry for me. But I'm sharing it for two reasons:
1. THE STORY: To see that I'm human too. To break the image of perfection. And to let go of my story that I have to have all my relationships mastered before I can be useful to you.
2. GIVE HOPE: You can do this too. You can walk towards your fear. You can have a tough conversation. It won't kill you. It may just change everything. But you'll never know until you run straight towards the thing that scares the shit out of you.
Here's to scaring the shit out of yourself :)