Even though I’m much, much more comfortable in my own skin these days, every now and then, I come across a situation where I’m tempted to hide. Whether it’s to prevent pain or to avoid causing or feeling embarrassment, whatever the case may be, I don’t want to pull back the curtain. My first instinct is to ignore it until it goes away or until it simmers down enough that everyone involved can passably ignore what happened.

But then I remember this beautiful StoryCorps episode.

Don’t sneak. Because if you sneak, it means you think you’re doing the wrong thing. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you’re doing the wrong thing, then you’ll ruin your immortal soul.
-Charles Edward Haggerty

I’ve learned the hard way over the last few years that if a situation doesn’t get addressed, it’ll become a thorn in my relationship with that person and it’ll fester under the skin. Nobody forgets the way someone made them feel; Maya Angelou had that right. But I can’t be responsible for anyone else’s emotions. I can’t control how other people will react. All I can do is act in a way that I know is aligned with my morals. Sometimes, the confrontation hurts and it’s almost always uncomfortable, but anyone who has had road rash knows that all wounds must be debrided (shudder) before it can be bandaged to heal. And luckily, I’ve also learned — the rest will take care of itself. Time will heal, but only if you clean it up first.