Friends, it’s been a theme of my life. I wonder if you’ve found it in yours as well? I avoid things.
Not all things. I embrace laughter and watching the sunset never gets old to me. Coffee? Yes, please, A day at the spa, sign me up! Time with a good friend, the best!
I avoid hard things. Things that cause discomfort, pain, heartache, unpleasant feelings of all kinds, forms and variations. I will walk away, I might even run. I will shut down and crawl inside myself so tightly that the very jaws of life don’t stand a chance. I work very hard to avoid things. I am adamant about avoiding things. I will fight tooth and nail to avoid things. I will stand my ground and stiffen my neck to avoid things. I take avoiding hard things very seriously!
Instead of dealing with unpleasant feelings, instead of rolling up my sleeves and doing the work it takes to find out why. Instead of sitting down and trying to understand another perspective. Instead of allowing myself to feel the pain. Instead of having the difficult conversation. Instead of doing the hard work it will take to change the situation. Instead, I avoid.
How does this look in my life? Instead of being willing to talk about the hurt, I don’t. This allows me to avoid pain in the moment but it keeps me from knowing real healing and freedom. Instead of having the hard conversation that is going to be emotionally taxing and may not end well, I avoid it and the relationship is stunted because of my unwillingness to truly show up and be real. My last blog post was 5 months ago because instead of sitting down to write I refrained out of fear that I may reveal too much and leave myself vulnerable to judgment. You see, I avoid and it’s costly.
My avoidance costs me but the real kicker is my avoidance costs you as well. My unwillingness to show up when it’s hard affects what kind of employee, friend, sister, neighbor….I am. Are you avoiding any unpleasantries? Anything in front of you that you know is worthy to pursue but you know it will be hard so you are choosing to avoid it? How is your avoidance affecting you? What is it robbing you of? If you were to face that thing and show up for it, how would that change things for you and for others in your life?
I think my tendency may always be to avoid the effort of unpleasant hard work but I want to be a person who is willing to take on the challenge because I trust that God will walk with me through the pain. Because the more I do the hard thing the easier it becomes. Because instead of hiding I want to live life out loud. Because while avoidance may seem like the easy way to go, in the end, it robs you and I of things far more valuable than a false reprieve from pain.
It won’t be easy and it will certainly hurt but on the other side I am certain that we will be a bit stronger, a bit more whole, a bit more free and hopefully a little more wise. I’m cheering for you and what you face today. May we learn to stop spending our energy and effort on avoidance and embrace the pain and hard work it takes to become all we were made to be!