So I said "How do you put up with this? Why don't you say something?" The reply was "Oh well, I just want a quiet life I suppose." I shook my head in disbelief and said "But you don't HAVE a quiet life! This is miserable!" The response was "Yeah, I know, but what can I do?" Living in anxiety and resentment, to avoid triggering someone else's emotional drama, is NOT the same as living in real peace. The price you pay for keeping your head down and your mouth shut is incalculable. You only have one life and there is more to it than just making it quietly to the grave. Dumbing down to appease an insecure person can rob you of all that really matters in life. Of course you can hope and pray that the other person will at some stage begin to consider your needs and show you some care and respect. At some stage a deep, inner part of you will know that they never will. It's time to make a decision and take responsibility for your own future.
Keeping your head down, staying quiet, trying to please, trying to figure out what's going to happen next, usually all begins in childhood. The pattern during teenage years usually erupts into outbursts of damaging behaviour, to yourself or others. Launching into adult life with such an unstable mess behind you can leave a legacy that most people cannot get past. The inability to understand, regulate and fully express your emotions can produce a state of internal emotional poverty. There is a hunger for love and creative expression that is now lost in confusion. The illusions and snares of this world soon trap a wounded soul, dragging the person down further into despair, depression and failed attempts to establish a successful, fulfilling life. The inner emotional poverty becomes reflected in outer relational or financial poverty in various forms. Without realising it, many people have become little more than slaves. They have a roof over their heads, food and clothes, probably even some forms of comfort or entertainment, but no real freedom, little choice about their destiny and a seemingly quiet life. But the soul and heart longs for more.
Moving on from quiet slavery to a truly peaceful life is usually a long journey. Making the journey will in itself teach, test and prepare you for a life of true freedom. The history of God's people describes the Hebrews being in forced labour under the Egyptian economic system. They were led out of Egypt loaded with gold. During their time in the wilderness they became desperate and made the gold their focus. By the time they reached the Promised Land they had descended into so much fear that they couldn't step forward into their rightful territory. A few courageous individuals pressed ahead, only to find the place had been taken over by enemies during their absence. Finally the battle was won and each person could settle in their own home. Now there was true, deep, lasting peace, because they had faced their demons and conquered them. Living in peace means being able to hold your head up. Peace gives you space to cultivate the resources you have. With peace you can truly relax and find rest that nourishes your soul. People who are at peace can relate to others with acceptance, respect and compassion. Living in peace is worth fighting for, worth the sacrifice of false beliefs and worth pursuing. It's your choice.
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For practical ways to clear emotional backlogs, I highly recommend this book, which I read in December 2013 - ‘The Emotion Code’ by Dr. Bradley Nelson
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