What Truth Isn’t
Your truth is not your opinion. An opinion is a thought or idea about something external in your environment. For example, “my boss is a jerk.” This is an opinion. Despite having evidence to support it, it isn’t your truth. Your truth involves communicating your feelings and thoughts in a vulnerable and authentic way. It is about being accountable for your experience and expressing yourself intimately and transparently. An example might be, “I feel disrespected when you single me out in meetings unnecessarily. This makes me uncomfortable, and I would like you to consider a new approach.”
Your truth is also not a reaction, and it’s not about being right either. A reaction is a knee-jerk response based on previous programming. Often, it is from this place that we attack others for sharing their opinions. When we react, it is not a present-moment expression from the core of your being. Instead, you are letting your emotions, false beliefs, and wounds lead the communication.
Beliefs and wounds can affect your ability to speak your truth. Believing “I am not good enough” might lead someone to keep their ideas, thoughts, and feelings to themselves. Thinking others won’t value what they have to say. This might feed their people-pleasing tendency. Growing up in a household where children were to be seen and not heard is another factor that can cloud our willingness to speak up for ourselves.
Some people and some situations are not worth your time or energy. It is essential to weigh your time and energy against the weight of not speaking your truth. There will be times when it is better to let things go. To determine if your truth is worth speaking, ask yourself if you will regret and rehash the moment if you walk away without saying something. Will you leave the situation feeling like a doormat? Has this situation occurred repeatedly with this person?
So it is the conversation with your boss or your sister that are worth your time and energy. Not the cashier at the grocery store who was grumpy or the man on the street who rudely bumped into you. If those short encounters bother you, there are likely long-standing circumstances in your life where you are not speaking up and being heard. The man on the street is a symptom of a much larger challenge. Manage your energy wisely and choose your moments.
How to Speak Your Truth
- Choose the Right Medium: If it is something important that you want to say, especially something you have been harboring for a while, don’t express it via text. Your truth involves conveying both emotion and thought. Electronic communication does not effectively convey these important emotions. It can leave much up to interpretation. Your truth should be direct and honest. Consider having these conversations in person or, at the very least, over the phone.
- Choose the Right Time: In the middle of a heated argument is not the right time to speak your truth. Speaking your truth is not only about sharing it but feeling like it is being heard. In the middle of a stressful situation or a fight, your message is less likely to be heard by the other person. Choose a time when things are calm, everyone is well-fed, and there are no time constraints.
- Be Unattached to How the Truth Is Received: While the other person might hear you, that doesn’t mean it will be received well. That is their story, not yours. You have no control over how another person will respond or react to your truth. As long as your goal isn’t just to be right or impose your opinion on someone but is a vulnerable, heartfelt expression of your core, it doesn’t matter how your truth is taken. Your truth is subjective, meaning it belongs to you alone. When you are being real, know that you might get real in return.
- Don’t Manage the Other Person’s Emotions: Much of the truth gets stifled when you try to manage the other person’s emotions. You may sugarcoat the message or downplay your emotions in an attempt not to hurt the other person’s feelings. Speaking your truth isn’t always kind, but it should be respectful. Avoid attacking the other person for their behavior; instead, share how you feel when… If you spend too much time worrying about the other person’s feelings, you are not being true to your own.
The most important thing is to be present. Speaking your truth is a present-moment experience. Take a moment; gather your thoughts and feelings. Take a few conscious breaths and clarify what you want to communicate. Speaking your truth is an important part of your spiritual evolution. Being able to communicate and feel like you are being heard is a sign of your awakening. Remember to get clear on the emotions that underlie your thoughts. Take a breath and speak from the heart. There is freedom in this.