By Chris Assaad
Telling the truth isn’t always easy, but I believe that it’s the foundation of meaningful connection, closeness in relationships and genuine fulfillment in so many areas of our lives. Somewhere along the way, many of us have learned to keep our thoughts and feelings to ourselves out of fear that people will not love us if we tell them what’s really going on. While this approach may have served us in certain situations or up until a certain point, as we go deeper into our own spiritual journey and as we strive for a reality that reflects our highest potential, it’s ultimately the truth that will set us free.
Before I go any further, I should clarify that the word “truth” is subjective and in this context, I am referring to your truth. In order to speak your truth and share it with another, it’s first important that you’re able to be honest with yourself. Whether it’s an upset, a crush, an idea or an apology that needs to be expressed, the first step along the path to authentic communication is identifying what’s true for YOU. This part of the process is crucial and can often be challenging for a number of reasons. The truth can be scary sometimes because it can reveal to us that we need to take action in a direction that’s uncertain, such as walking away from a relationship that isn’t fulfilling or a job that’s not in alignment with our purpose. The same applies to expressing our true feelings for another and giving voice to our creative yearnings, both of which require us to put ourselves out there, to be open and vulnerable. Similarly, when we are communicating something that is not inherently positive, such as a disappointment or a point of contention with a friend, colleague or loved one, there are a few challenges that arise as well.
The first, especially for those of us on the Path who believe in taking responsibility for our perceptions, is to objectively determine if our grievance is well founded and see where it ‘s really coming from. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for us to own up to our part in a conflict, to put our egos aside and swallow some pride. We all know how difficult that can be! On the other hand, we may feel genuinely hurt by something or we may want to establish a boundary or standard in a particular relationship without necessarily blaming the other person and putting them on the defensive. In either case, being open and honest is the key to maintaining a clear space in our relationships and the way to do this is by being authentic in our communication and expressing from a place of love and a desire for harmony.
One of my favorite metaphors on this subject is the idea of the “elephant in the room” which represents the obvious truth that is not being addressed among a pair or group of individuals. I always picture two people wanting to be close and intimate being separated by a giant elephant! Whether it’s obvious or not, there is no question that the unspoken truths that we carry around and bury deep down live in the space between us. There is a distinct energy that comes from repressed upsets and emotions, as well as unexpressed love and creativity that creates a wall between us and others.
Beyond this, what we do not authentically explore within ourselves can have a negative impact on our own state of balance and our health. Harboring unacknowledged frustration, anger and resentment and not dealing with them appropriately can be toxic to our bodies and can be the beginnings of disease. I’m not suggesting that we go around unleashing the fury and breathing fire on other people. That said, it ‘s important to give ourselves space to vent and give voice to our darker emotions in healthy ways, such as journaling or communicating with someone who can hear us out but who is not involved in the situation.
As cliché as it may sound, I also can’t help but point out that life is short and tomorrow is never guaranteed. We may have the chance to express something today, but we never know if we’re going to get a next time. So let us not pass up the chance RIGHT NOW to make things right with those we love, to be honest with the people in our lives, to say “I love you”, to sing our song, to tell our story, to share our ideas and to speak our TRUTH!
Let’s be honest with each other. Is there something that you’ve been keeping to yourself that you know you need to express but don’t know how? Or better yet, is there something within you that you’re dying to express but haven’t because you’re afraid of how it will be received?
If you feel up to it, leave a comment below and let us support each other in opening up and expressing our truth.