An ongoing goal of mine has been to speak more of my truth. Turns out that’s a pretty hard thing to do. Being honest can make you feel anxious, awkward, vulnerable and fearful for your “reputation”. On the flip side, it can also offer closure, resolution and be a pathway to deep healing. Unknown burdens can be magically lifted just from having the bravery to address what is scary. I’ve experienced the immense benefits and thought I’d share from personal experience even if it’s at the cost of my “reputation”.
First off, this digital age has allowed us to become real digital dicks in many ways. You can be straight-up rude with no repercussions. Effortlessly dodging difficult situations using “ghosting” methods. We’re having some of our most important conversations through handheld devices offering no space for face to face interaction or a sense of responsibility for our actions. But worst of all, we’re not even having them at all. Here’s a classic example; The first guy I dated during university sent me the dreaded “let’s just be friends” text. Naturally, I responded with “all goodies”, when in reality I felt like I had been punched in the freaking chest. It was easy to lie through a screen but if he’d said it to my face he might have seen my heart break. Oh how many moons I spent lying on the floor listening to Matt Corby and feeling sorry for myself after that. Turns out, that wasn’t that last “let’s be friends” text I’d receive but it would be the last time I withheld my truth regarding it.
“Cool is the emotional straightjacket” – Brené Brown.
There’s a real pressure to “play it cool” and seem emotionally unphased especially in romantic situations. No-one wants to come off as a “crazy bitch”, or God forbid, desperate. Being honest isn’t a sin and you may actually be thanked for it. If I had to choose between being “cool” and authentic I’d choose the latter every darn time. Had I been honest with old mate I’m sure there would have been less Matt Corby and feeling unworthy. Unfortunately, that took a kind of courage and confidence that 19-year-old Niki was still learning, bless her.
Nowadays, I believe it to be a great disservice to both parties to remain cool, calm and collected when in reality you’ve been deeply affected. You’re not helping anyone by holding your tongue. Make no mistake, just because you’re ready to speak your truth doesn’t mean the recipient is ready to comprehend it. I have amped myself up to tell someone how I felt only to be met with a laptop screen that seemed more deserving of attention than me. A tough pill to swallow but it did me some good. Being attached to an outcome was dangerous and from then on I decided it was best not to have expectations. To focus on my true intention on what I wanted to gain from the conversation was a wiser decision. I didn’t want to blame or hurt him but simply state how I felt for the chance at emotional growth and closure. If speaking my truth makes me feel like a gosh darn fool so be it. I’d rather feel like a short-term fool than a long-term coward who was too afraid to be honest.
Oftentimes we refrain from truth-seeking/speaking based on false assumptions of how the other person is feeling. That is why assumption is so dangerous. It denies us from experiencing reality as it is because we are preoccupied with self-made fantasies. We don’t even start the conversation because we think we already know how it’s going to go. News flash, we are not mind readers and neither are our friends. So cut the bullshit and go straight to the source otherwise you’ll be left wondering, “what if”?
Whether it’s with dating, family or friendship, many of us are left broken because of words unspoken. We’re so scared of scratching beneath the surface, failing to realise that soil needs to be loosened so that the roots can breathe easier. Isn’t it time to get some fresh air into our stale relationships? To release what’s been sitting heavy on the chest so you can breathe easier? If someone has really hurt you hit them up, (with love). If you fancy someone let them know and if something feels funky with a friend tell ‘em honey! If at first face to face is too daunting write a letter, song, poem or an Instagram DM! The intention is what matters not the medium. Even if you don’t send it in the end at least you have been honest with yourself.
The truth will set you free even though it seems easier to stay in captivity. Heck, I’m still learning as much as the next person but it’s a lesson that contains many blessings. It takes real bravery to stop running and numbing. To fully embrace the uncomfortable conversations that are the pathway to liberation. When we resolve we evolve. We rise into being better human beings and start living from a place of authenticity.
Signing off now with wise words from one hell of a woman:
What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have.- Oprah Winfrey
I think it’s time to use it, don’t you?