Recently, while talking to my husband about a situation where a friend has crossed one of my boundaries, he advised me to ‘get over it’.
I heard him. I think there’s validity in his suggestion, as long as the ‘getting over it’ doesn’t mean getting over the issue by pushing it down and not giving my friend the benefit of trust to walk through it with me.
Because that’s the rub. Getting over something that I deem as a violation of trust and friendship by simply ignoring it and saying nothing, will not strengthen my friendship with this person, nor will it give me peace of mind. Not finding a way to speak through loving kindness about this issue will strengthen distrust between my friend and I, and if I don’t speak up, they will never know why I am distancing myself and we will never have the chance to possibly grow through this situation.
In speaking with them about it, we may agree to disagree. That’s okay. But for me to say nothing will leave the root of unease within me, and my relationship with them will continue to be strained.
It is one of the truths I’ve learned from living on the dark side of the belief that I don’t have the right to speak up and set my boundary when I feel someone has invited me to collude with them in making something they’re doing right for me even when I know it is against my values.
It isn’t a judgement of what they are doing – whether I agree or disagree with what they’re doing, is not the issue I need to address. The issue is, my silence. When I stay silent in the face of a situation where I feel my values and boundaries are being crossed, I am giving silent acquiescence that says what they are doing is okay in my life even when it’s not okay in my life. And when I stay silent in those situations, I risk my peace of mind and my sense of walking with integrity.
And that isn’t healthy for me, nor our friendship
My head wants me to believe I don’t have the right to speak up. It wants me to buy into the notion that it’s not a big deal — nobody got hurt. Why bother to right something that’s not all that wrong.
Integrity isn’t about someone else’s actions. It’s about what is the right thing for me to do to value our friendship and to eliminate spaces where I know I am pulling away by silently giving way to behaviours that do not fit my life.
My ego is not my friend in these situations. It wants me to make it all about right and wrong by being the judge of their actions. I am not the judge of their actions. I am the keeper of mine and when I face the fact that I did not set a clear boundary in this situation, I need to address it — and whatever decision/result comes from that, it will be what it is.
The ego’s challenge is — it wants me to ‘get over it’ by staying silent and just pushing the situation away. “They’ll be mad at you if you speak up,” the ego chatters. “You’ll only create waves. Make things worse.”
Fact is, when I’m getting mad at someone for crossing a boundary I refused to set, the person I need to work with most is me. And the best way to do that is to have the courage to speak through loving-kindness by setting my boundary and being clear on where I stand.
Getting over something is very different than moving through it.
For me, ‘getting over it’ means suppressing my feelings, reactions, thoughts.
To truly get over something that continues to eat at my peace of mine, I must have the courage to look at where I feel the rub, and take loving action to walk through the discomfort of knowing where I need to stand is in not telling someone else they’re ‘wrong’. It’s in standing up for what is right for me.