In the South, we tend to pussyfoot around hard truths because most of us grew up with the admonition, “Now just be nice!”
And while that makes for charming dinner table conversation, it makes for lousy long-term relationships.
Because we all know the longer you live with, work with and love another body, the more things that should be said but aren’t add up.
Pretty soon the pile is so big it obscures the love or fun or shared interests that should be holding hearts together and instead they drift apart.
I haven’t been all that good at following the southern tradition of code words and cute phrases that mask true intent. But I used to be guilty of it from time to time.
These past years of heartache and hardship have pretty much stripped all the veneer that was left off my tongue.
I doubt you will find a soul that would call me a silver-tongued devil. They’re more likely to call me a brash something else.
But I have important things to say and I don’t want to waste time sugar-coating them. I don’t want the meat of my message hidden inside a puff pastry of silly words. I believe truth should be easy to swallow but not necessarily tasty.
Often the most efficacious medicine leaves a nasty aftertaste.
So I’m here to tell you: don’t drown your important relationships in unsaid words, unshared feelings, unacknowledged wounds.
All that does is guarantee distance grows between your hearts.
If you let the distance become too vast, or the pile of unsaid truth get too high, you might just find you can’t reach that far or that high to reconnect.
It takes a bit of brave to say what’s important and uncomfortable.
But it’s worth it.
And it’s really the only way to authentic and lasting relationships.