By: Lisa M. Hayes – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
I was talking to one of the most lovely women I know recently when she said something that made me cringe. I hear it a lot from women. It always makes my skin crawl a little.
She was stuck between what felt like a rock and a hard space in a situation with her mother-in-law. She felt like she had two choices to pick from. She could stand up for herself and alienate this woman or cave into a set of demands, again. Her mother-in-law not only invited herself on a family vacation but also started making some particular requests for her accommodations and changes to the itinerary she had no intention of paying for.
My friend was angry. She was angry at her mother-in-law for inserting herself again. She was angry at her husband for not putting his foot down – never putting his foot down. Mostly though, she was mad at herself for caving, silently slinking away from the conversation with her tail between her legs while quietly seething with unexpressed frustration.
As she was telling the story of how the European vacation they’d been saving for, for years was about to be cut one full week short to pay for Grandma’s special requests, I could her backing herself into a corner.
“So, I asked myself, how could I be more loving. I decided to just go with it.”
And there it was, the bypass. The place where we detour around the truth in the name of love. Nothing in the tone of her voice or her body language was loving because that’s not love. It is surrender, and not the good kind. That kind of surrender feels like defeat. Love doesn’t work that way. And it happens a lot. I know I’ve done it and I’m pretty sure you’ve done it too.
But here’s the thing:
Love is not passive.
Love does not subjugate.
Love certainly doesn’t always say yes.
Sometimes love doesn’t just say no – sometimes love says hell no.
Love isn’t a convenient excuse for being cowardly – and when it’s used that way it becomes the furthest thing from love.
Love is the strongest force in the Universe.
Love is never needy, but sometimes it is demanding.
Love stands up.
Love will take a stand.
Sometimes love will go to war from what’s right.
Sometimes love walks away.
Love won’t ask you to take shit for no reason.
Love is not weak, and it’s not an excuse for weakness.
All of that covers everything from your relationship with your mother-in-law to your relationship with everyone and everything else in between. If love isn’t your strength you’re standing in the wrong place.
There is a difference between taking the high road for principle and hiding behind doing the “loving” thing. The difference can be measured in resentment. If taking the high road leaves cleaner clearer energy behind then it might be the right course of action. However, if doing the loving thing leaves resentment in its wake – it’s not love. That is bypassing.
In my friend’s case, giving in to the demands of her mother-in-law put her relationship with the mother of her husband at more significant long-term risk than standing up and saying no ever would have. The resentment she felt for stuffing her feelings down in the name of love aren’t going to go away after the suitcases are unpacked. That kind of baggage doesn’t unpack easily. Resentment is a cancer that kills relationships.
The next time you ask yourself what the loving thing to do would be, if it doesn’t feel strong, it is not love, it is fear. That’s bypassing and bypassing never feels good.
Love is not always convenient, but it’s always honest.
Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.