Find The Courage To Know The Truth
Helaine Iris, © 2004
decision to have a child--it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have
your heart go walking around outside your body." Elizabeth Stone
daughter amazes me. She's just been through a roller coaster growth cycle.
I'm going to share this vulnerable, recent event from her life that has
beautifully illustrates a powerful life lesson. I have her permission to
share this story with you.
It all started about six months ago when she
began her senior year of high school. To give you some background, our
daughter, who tends to be on the reserved side, is not a risk taker, and
attends a very small, private, alternative school in rural Vermont. There are
10 kids in her class and for the most part they all socialize with
It's a close-knit group of students. There's not a lot of
a potential romantic option in such a small pond yet my daughter began to
develop a crush on one of her classmates. As the year progressed and social
events increased and friendships deepened, her feelings for this boy deepened
I was delighted she was talking to me about her experiences
and feelings all along the way. We spent many a conversation exploring how
one deals with having feelings for someone when you're uncertain if your
feelings are to be returned. We discussed at length possible strategies for
approaching the conversation. We considered the pros and cons of letting
things naturally unfold vs. trying to second- guess where we thought this
young man might be based on his interactions with her.
Over months we
talked and talked. She expressed her hopes, her fear of rejection;
ultimately, she feared that if she told the truth of how she felt, it would
ruin the friendship, which was clearly valuable to her.
About a month
ago the tension was approaching fever pitch for her. The friendship had grown
the crush turned to love, and they were beginning to spend serious time
together. She was filled with the fantasy of how wonderful it would be if the
relationship moved to the next level. Still she was unable to ask this young
man the seemingly simple question, "do you like me and want to be more
It became painfully clear to me that my daughter was
avoiding having the conversation because she was afraid to know the truth. On
a deep level she was convinced that she was going to be rejected.
The distress of not knowing and the tension it created although miserable
was safer than facing possible disappointment. It was very understandable and
yet, something needed to give.
What truth are you resisting
I often experience this very human phenomenon with my clients.
The tendency to avoid the truth inadvertently creates complicated, energy
draining situations: from relationship issues to not wanting to hire a
bookkeeper to sort out your finances because of what you're afraid you might
If you're afraid of seeking the truth because you believe that
your worst fear will come true ask yourself if you can really know
for sure that it will. Isn't it just as possible that you might
be worrying for nothing? How much energy does it take to stay in
If you're afraid because you don't have the confidence to
get through whatever tough emotions arise look for evidence from your past
that you can. When have you survived and actually grown from other
challenging life lessons? Building a support system to help you deal with
what ever comes up can be invaluable and confidence building as
Finally, the day came. My daughter told us she couldn't take
it anymore. She found the courage to face her fears and decided she
was ready to tell him the truth. My husband and I took her out to
our favorite Sunday morning breakfast restaurant and coached her. By
the end of our meal she was ready and drove off to meet him.
a happy ending to the story, but not the happily ever after kind. It turned
out the young man didn't return her feelings, he was happy being great
friends with her. She came home heartbroken yet not devastated AND most
importantly, relieved that the truth was out on the table and she could be
free to be real with him. She activated her support system in a big way and
began to recover.
Yes, it took a few days to sort it all out, and the
friendship has grown. They're communicating on a more satisfying level. What
an incredible opportunity for a seventeen year old to learn how to
face truth and build self-confidence in the process. My daughter
It's YOUR life…imagine the possibilities!
Communicating from the Heart
How many times have you kicked yourself for how you said something or how it was received? Your intentions may have been good, but the other person ended up feeling hurt or angry or worse. You ask yourself, "What could I have said so no one had bad feelings?"
Compassionate Communication: a Loving Way to Connect
Have you ever wondered if there was a communication method that really
worked to bring people closer? How would your relationships be impacted at work,
at home, with friends, if you interacted from a place of connection?