Often, the first person we need to be honest with is our self. A step in reaching a deeper level of authentic expression is telling the truth about ourselves and our experiences. Often, in order for change to occur, we have to have a deeper sense of truth to help guide us to live life differently.
In this piece, I want to invite you to take the risk to go to that scary place of being completely vulnerable and honest with yourself and with others. Sometimes this includes saying and or hearing things we would otherwise want to protect ourselves from. It is amazing how debilitating our fears can be around telling our truth or hearing someone else’s truth. Some of us are skilled story tellers; we tell ourselves about the horrors of what could happen or what might happen. We become filled with trepidation and we dread the moment of truth. Have you ever thought, “If I tell the truth, it will only make things worse.”?
As we summon our courage to tell our truth, it is imperative to remember that we cannot control how another person will respond or feel. We can only know our sincere and honest truth, and speak it with vulnerability and compassion. We must speak our truth without expectations as to how the other person will receive it. At the same time we hold the conviction that by telling our truth, we are reaching a greater sense of wellbeing. We are creating a space for healing to happen.
For this process, I would like to suggest that we don’t feel sorry for, or worried about hurting the other person. Remember, if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and completely honest about our self—which is different than using the truth to attack someone—healing is the only outcome. When speaking from the place deep inside all of us, we cannot say the wrong thing or make the situation worse.
This process necessitates holding a space for the other person that allows whatever he or she needs to feel without taking responsibility for it; without feeling judgmental or without becoming defensive. This process necessitates learning how to become ok with confusion and/or seemingly contradictory feelings, thoughts, and statements. We offer a space for this as well. In this space, we do not try to solve anything. We simply allow the truth to be what it needs to be.
My challenge to you--if you choose to accept it--is for you to choose one of your truths and tell it. Start small. Start with people who love and accept you exactly as you are. You might notice the fear and anxiety well up inside of you. You might find your words get caught in your throat. Take deep breaths, be patient, don’t rush it, allow the truth to come out.
What I know from having this level of honesty with others is that it is intensely healing. It allows clarification and understanding that cannot be achieved from avoiding such feelings and conversations.
So take the leap. See for yourself what is possible!
Precaution: being honest at this level does have a prerequisite--one must be grounded in a strong sense of self and self-love.