All those times your daddy yelled at you for not being ready on time,
or your mum yelled at you for not cleaning your room,
or your brother yelled at you for breaking his stuff
or your sister yelled at you for making her look stupid,
or your dog barked at you for getting home late
…they were all only saying one thing: Don’t compromise.
And I’ll say it again…
To be more accurate they were saying “Don’t make me compromise” but essentially the lesson is the same.
Don’t make daddy late for work, don’t make mummy clean your room, don’t make big brother have to make another potato cannon, don’t make little sister have to deny that she’s related to you, don’t make puppy dog look bad for waking up the house without a robbery.
How is this still important, now that all those confusing childhood emotions have been effectively supressed? You’re an adult now… right? You can’t get home late because there’s no bedtime! You can get in trouble for breaking stuff because it’s
your stuff! You free!!!
But free to what… ?
Free to compromise… ?
Compromise is real. Give it an inch and it will take you further than you ever thought was possible. Further away from the life you chose and the person you wanted to become. Compromise can kill you and not only that it’ll have you dying for something you don’t even believe in.
Don’t compromise. That thing, that you’re thinking of right now, where you get that half excited, half anxious feeling in your stomach? Do it, don’t compromise. That person you’ve been waiting for “just the right time” to talk to? Talk to them, don’t compromise.
When all those familiar fears spark up, when there’s yelling and barking flooding through your mind try to remember, it’s actually going to be ok. These days as an adult the worst case scenario is usually just an afternoon of shame or sobbing followed by some sheepish laughter and a stronger sense of self. And the best case scenario, the intended outcome, is that sweet relief you get from not being spilt between the compromises. These emotional bodies of ours are far more robust than we give them credit for. Not compromising yourself is rather like taking your emotions to the gym. You press a little and it starts to feel uncomfortable. It’s a good discomfort though, you’re getting stronger.
and be prepared for the post-shame giggles.