SO many thoughts around this that I am having a hard time getting them all down in any kind of way that makes literary sense! So, I’ve opted to just start from the heart space and let the mind take a rest from trying to organizing them as I write.
Speaking our truth is such an important part of living our authentic lives. In fact, I daresay you can’t live an authentic life at all unless you can adequately speak your truth.
But what does speak your truth mean?
”I have to speak my truth!” she said, justifying her blunt, abusive and judgmental tirade.
Speaking your truth isn’t about imposing your thoughts or beliefs on others.
Speaking your truth isn’t about getting anyone to agree with or validate you, either.
Speaking your truth certainly isn’t license to decide what THE TRUTH is for everyone else.
In fact, you aren’t speaking your truth at all if your ‘truth’ contains the pronoun “you” more often than “I”. Lately, speaking your truth is being used as a cover for saying whatever judgmental thing comes to mind about someone you don’t particularly like. YOUR truth isn’t about anyone else. YOUR truth is -surprisingly enough- about YOU and only you! It’s about your experience and your relationship to the experience.
Speaking your truth comes from your soul, not your ego or mind.
It sounds like: “I feel…. I see… I need to… I am thinking…”
It does not sound like: “You don’t… You make me… You are… You need to…”
It is not license to ‘go off’ on someone. It is license to tell another what it is that is going on within you.
When you are in relationship with someone, regardless of whether that relationship is parental, sibling, romantic, friendship or business the foundation is built upon your truth – each of your truths. Speaking your truth includes no judgements of another, but strictly discernment regarding what is in your highest best good.
“This is not working for me.” “This is not what I need.” “I do not have friends who treat me this way.” “I need to feel that there is an equitable exchange of energy in our relationship.” “I am not fulfilled.”
It needs to also include the nourishing stuff. “I appreciate…” “I feel honored…” “I love that….”
Your truth is about your experience.
I can’t emphasize that enough, but 99 times out of 100 when I hear the statement “I have to speak my truth”, there is no personal truth…just personal opinion, which is entirely different (and deserves its own post).
But what if you’re not comfortable sharing your truth?
If you are not comfortable sharing your truth, you are not being authentic. Its one thing to present yourself authentically in the physical form, but to speak truths that others may not affirm can be scary and make us feel vulnerable. However, when we are authentic we do not feel vulnerable, we feel empowered, because we are not concerned with ‘harm’ that may befall us as a result of speaking our truth; We are simply making a part of our soul visible to the naked eye.
Vulnerable is when you share your truth from a space of fear that others might reject you. Being vulnerable is sharing your truth DESPITE the expectation and result of being hurt by other people.
Authentic is when you share your truth from a space of acceptance that if others reject you, it has nothing to do with you. Being authentic is sharing your truth WITHOUT the expectation and result of being hurt by other people.
Do you see the difference?
Speaking your truth includes sharing your story.
Sharing our stories is how we build intimacy, but it is also how we help others share their stories and their truth. When we hide our stories and are reluctant to share them it indicates that we are ashamed of our stories.
We don’t want to hold on to our past story as if it defines our future, however it has had a hand in creating our present and needs to be honored for that. In Native American tradition, this is called honoring the three fates: past, present, future. You honor the past by honoring the traditions of our Ancestors, the wisdom they have passed down. It also needs to include understanding the lessons our own past has taught us and to not repeat any perceived mistakes we have made.
Honor the present by seeking the beauty in every moment, using your gifts and sharing them with the world for its highest good.
Honoring the future requires understanding the present in the same way you understand the past. Living in the present moment carves out our very best future. Our future is built upon the thoughts, choices and actions we make today.
Sharing your truth, in telling your story, needs to read like you are telling the story of someone you admire, because if you don’t admire yourself then you haven’t found your truth.
So, in telling your story, it is vital to speak your truth, but to do that you must understand from where you are emanating.
Is it from a point of pain? The victim? As you merely list the painful things you’ve experienced? Or is it from a point of denial/arrogance? Also a victim. As you merely list the good things that have happened to you?
Your Life Story = 10% events + 90% what you make from those events
You’ve heard the phrase “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you make of it”, right? I find that goes a bit over people’s hearts, so to speak, and it can easily be heard as a bandaid and a nudge to ‘get over it’. But if we rewrite it just a bit, into “Life is 10% what happens and 90% what you make of what happens” maybe it gets a little clearer?
A really great analogy for this is the reality cooking show, ‘Chopped!’ I watched this show with my niece a couple of times. At the moment I didn’t see it, but like all things, I know there is some message I’m to receive. It took a few months for it to show up here. If you haven’t seen it, the basic deal is that for each of three courses the competing chefs are given a mystery basket of ingredients they must use for the course. These are ingredients that most people would not think to use together in one course. Things like sardines and Oreos, for example. This is a perfect example to illustrate how life happens for you and that ultimately it is up to you what to make of it.
If we go through life expecting all Oreos, then when the sardines come along (no offense to sardine lovers) we experience suffering in the form of disappointment, uncertainty and perhaps more. But if we understand that our basket (life) holds all sorts of ingredients (experiences), then whatever unexpected event comes along will break us out of our comfort zone (break us open) and really get our creativity flowing.
Basic ingredients yield basic results. Unexpected ingredients yield unexpected results!
Life is about discovering who you are and without challenges you really wouldn’t discover anything. You don’t know how strong you are until you try to lift something heavy, right? So, without challenges you don’t know how creative you can be! It’s the same in life as it is in cooking! Without the ‘mystery basket’ ingredients, the chefs would rely on old tried and true recipes and they would not grow in their skills. Their menus wouldn’t expand, therefore their restaurants wouldn’t expand.
We also see that no two people do the exact same thing with the same ingredients.
Given the same ingredients each person puts them together in a different and unique way, pulling from their past experiences and digging deep into their creativity. Each chef learns from their creations, understanding what worked as they intended and what didn’t.
THIS is life people! It isn’t bemoaning the fact that you got sardines with your Oreos and just letting them sit there to get soggy and eventually moldy!
Its diving in and making something delicious out of what you are given.
And then…really…its pretty simple to share the truth of your story with pride.