At some point we have had or will have a tough conversation. Whether with a friend, a neighbor, a colleague or a family member, confrontation is never easy.
Because we dislike confrontation, and because it is so difficult, we often do anything to avoid confronting others.
These conversations usually occur because you care about the person, you have been hurt, or you do not want someone else to get hurt.
Whatever the reason, confronting another person is never easy.
In the story of the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-22), Jesus tells him to go and sell everything, give the money to the poor, and follow Him.
The young man left very sad because his riches meant more to him than following Jesus. I suspect he wasn’t aware that the blessings had replaced the Blesser until he was asked to make a choice between the two.
Jesus also said to follow Him we must be willing to hate/give up the most important relationships in our lives (Luke 14:26).
By Jesus’ own clear instructions, we are told we should not allow anything [riches] or anyone [parents, spouse, siblings, etc.] to stand between us and our relationship with Him.
Jesus wants our undivided, uncompromising focus and attention.
Where do you go to be completely honest with what you are feeling, thinking and going through without being judged? Who hears your heart with all its fears, joys and concerns? Who do you have to be straight up in your face honest with you, to let you hear the hard truth even when you do not want to hear it? Many of us, especially leaders, do not have such honesty and accountability in our lives. And for many, the consequences have been tragic.
I have come to learn that such honesty and accountability is essential for us as leaders. It helps to avoid the disillusionment of self-sufficiency. I have heard many people, myself included, say, “I know if I had a place to be honest and be held accountable, I would not have made many of the mistakes I made.”
We all have been wounded. Last week I blogged on the topic, “We All Have Wounds That Need To Be Healed.” We must face and deal with our wounds in order to be freed from the shame, embarrassment and dysfunction of them. Only then is it possible to become wounded healers as we use our journey of healing to help others.
Today I want to focus on the process of facing our woundedness, so we can experience the healing we need to become wounded healers.
Many years ago while in graduate school I read the book The Wounded Healer, by Henri Nouwen. That book forever changed my life as I was learning to deal with wounds of my life. I recently read a quote from that book that reminded me once again of the importance of recognizing that we all have wounds which continue to shape our lives. Here is the quote:
“Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”
Has anyone ever kept you waiting for an appointment? Have you ever experienced someone cutting in front of you in traffic or at the grocery store?
What went through your mind when these things happened? If you are like many people, you reacted with anger or frustration because the person appeared to disrespect you in some way.
I am dyslexic and as a result, reading and writing are very tedious for me. I naturally struggle to comprehend what I am reading, and trying to capture my thoughts in writing is a real struggle.
While these are real issues for me, I have lived most of my life trying not to let others see my weaknesses. I tried to appear as I perceived others to be: without weaknesses.
Conflicts are unavoidable, try as you may. They are a natural part of our human existence; therefore, we need to figure out how to best deal with them rather than trying to avoid them.
When conflict exists in a relationship and all you do is try to avoid it, you are only allowing it to get worse. The longer you wait to resolve it when you don’t know what to do, also makes it worse.
Leaders who lead well are leaders who have embraced their real self and are comfortable with who they in Christ. They know they have weaknesses and strengths, they emotionally aware, and they can be honest with themselves and others about who they are.
“It makes sense that people who know themselves and who can relate genuinely to others by avoiding self-protective roles have a better chance of succeeding in leadership, especially today. Leaders who strive to acknowledge all sides of themselves and who allow all sides of themselves to be acknowledged will increase their capacity to lead in difficult times.” Richard H. Ackerman and Pat Maslin-Ostrowski
Desires. We all have them. To have desires is to be human. We were created with the ability to have desires. Desires turned to dreams move us to achieve good and great things in life.
A desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. We have physical, emotional, spiritual and mental desires. Not all desires are good for us; the fulfillment of some desires would negatively impact us and/or those around us. Imagine what would happen if you went through with the desire you felt when a driver cut you off, or when a person cut in line in front of you?