There are two kinds of compromise: the kind that heals you by expanding you — it’s the healthy kind that stems from real love and grace. And because it usually brings some delight with it, then doesn’t feel much like a compromise after all. And then there’s the kind of compromise that bruises your soul — the not-so-healthy kind that is driven by varying degrees of desperation and fear.
We make unhealthy compromises for three reasons:
1. Fear that we won’t get what we really want.
2. Fear that we won’t get what we really want.
3. Fear that we won’t get what we really want.
There are a lot of layers to get to root-fear of not getting what we want. We don’t speak up for fear of rejection and criticism — which would keep us from the love and respect we really want. We stay in ridiculously dramatic relationships for fear of loneliness or despair — which would keep us from the connection and joy we really want. We keep up with social situations even though they make us feel flat, fake, or alien, because we don’t want to be cast off entirely — because that might keep us from the nourishment and affinity that we really want.
We compromise — we swallow our words, keep paying rent in hell, and maintaining appearances, because we’re afraid that we won’t get what we really want if we… really tell the fucking truth, choose joy over pain, and show up as ourselves. But if we don’t really tell the fucking truth, choose joy over pain, and show up as ourselves… we’ll never get what we really want.
It may take all you’ve got to swim across the channel of doubt and holding out. You may even experience rejection, criticism, and loneliness (in fact, it’s very, highly likely). But you’ll get what you really want. Really.