Leaning into tension

I hate, HATE tension and conflict.  I want everyone to be happy all the time, be best friends and sing and dance like they do in the musicals.  This isn’t too much to ask for, right?  Right!  Good!  Glad we’re in agreement!  It’s perfectly reasonable.

For most of my life, I did whatever it took to make sure tension didn’t happen.  I did everything in my power to head it off at the pass.  Make sure that it didn’t ever start.  (Come on!  Really!  I’m not sure why I ever thought I could avert tension!  For goodness sake, it’s everywhere!)

And if it did come my way, I took off and ran with all my might to the hills.  (Or at least made sure that I was pretty well protected from it before I ran.)  I didn’t want any of that!  No sirree!  Tension is bad, right?

I’m pretty slow at these things, but I’m finally coming to realize that tension and conflict are not always a bad thing.  That they can be used and turned into a whole lot of good if they are addressed well.  (I’m growing up!  Finally!)

I have one friend in particular who has been helping me with this lately.  I’ll describe to her what I’m going through and how I’m feeling, and she boldly tells me what I need to do.  That I need to face the issue.  Not let it pass me by and let it continue to nag at me for days, weeks or years.  To stand up for myself.  To speak truth in a loving way.  To stand for what is right.  To do something about it!  I love this friend dearly, and I’m so glad that she is willing to be open and honest with me.  She loves me enough to not let me settle.  She pushes me to do hard things because she knows it’s what’s best for me.  And that good will come from it.  That it will make me stronger.  And when I have my little successes, she’s the first to hear about it!  She’s my biggest cheerleader!

And I’m trying!  But this is all so new and fresh to me.  It’s hard!  Stinkin’ HARD!  I want to give up so easily!  I want to back down.  Some days I just want to go crawl back in bed and bury my head in the covers.  It seems much safer all covered up and hiding in bed.  But I know that I have to keep making right decisions no matter what.  Even (and maybe especially) when they are hard.

So, I’m trying to lean into tension.  I continually (pretty much daily ) have to fight the urge to run.  To make myself stop, think and start moving toward the tension.  To really lean in.  Embrace it.  Experience it.  And learn from it.

Leaning, walking or running into tension is a huge learning experience.  Sometimes we will handle things well.  Sometimes we won’t.  But we will always learn.  We will always be better for it.  For we have fully participated in life.  Life is beautiful.  But life is also messy.  And we should lean into both the beautiful and the messy!

I encourage you to lean into tension.  When you feel the urge to run, decide to walk toward the tension.  Be brave and courageous!  I believe that if more of us leaned into tension, things would change.

Go and be a world changer!

What are some ways that you have had to lean into tension in your life?  How did that go?  What did you learn from it?