I've spent a pretty large majority of my life now in pursuit of the truth and trying to be as honest as possible. There is one category where I fall abysmally short on this however - saying "no". Instead of just saying "no, thank you" or "I'd rather not," I always feel compelled to invent some great excuse that will be so bulletproof that no one can possibly argue with it. Instead of feeling like my "no" is enough, the only way I can do what I really want is to lie. This is a chapter in my life that I'm ready to close in my ongoing journey to be as authentic as I can be without, you know, losing my job or other first world disasters.
I'm getting better at this already. Learning to set boundaries is maybe one of the most difficult lessons I've had to swallow. A chronic people-pleaser who fears rejection or confrontation more than any wound makes this extremely hard. However, every day is another test.
Recently, I had to do such a thing to people whose love and approval I need to survive. I literally can not stand the idea of drawing breath without knowing that they are behind me, supporting me. But I had to do it. What I was attempting to do wasn't sustainable, I was the most exhausted and frustrated I had been in maybe a decade. While I believed so strongly in the core of our purpose, the way we were going about it was making me want to scream, "Can't you see I'm drowning over here? This isn't working!"
As Albus Dumbledore said in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies. But it takes a whole lot more to stand up to our friends.
When it comes to it, though, at the end of the day -- we ARE our own best friend. You're stuck with yourself, baby! May as well love the human that you are and treat them the absolute best you can, just like you would with any of your other best friends. I can't remember what the moment was, what my straw that broke the camel's back was but whatever it was, I'm grateful for it. I'm myself again. I just got over a really nasty virus that almost felt like my body pushing the reset button and saying, "And now, you must rest." So I did. And coming out the other side of that immediately after having one of the hardest conversations of my life feels like being reborn.
Sometimes, the right thing to do for yourself is very uncomfortable. Every ounce of you wants to fight it, to say, "This is no big deal! I can handle this thing that's torturing me! Look, here I go!" Growing is uncomfortable. Being honest is uncomfortable. Self realization is very uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is not a bad thing. Not always. If you stay in your comfort zone forever, you'll never become a better person.
So to those of you who got straight A's in grade school, control freak, perfectionist, whoever you may be - if you're feeling the pressure and you need to draw a line but you're afraid - draw the fucking line. Draw it and make sure everyone sees it. Your future self will thank you later.