For many of us saying what’s truly in our hearts may be a challenge. Hurt feelings, guilt, not wanting to be wrong or mistaken, not knowing where to start -many things can contribute to remaining quiet and not speaking up.
It can be scary - feelings of rejection or not being accepted as we are can cause even the strongest of us to recoil in fear. There is a deep need within us all to feel accepted, loved and wanted. When our feelings may topple someone’s view of us, or when they may cause a confrontation or the possibility of disappointment, it may not seem worth it to give our feelings a voice.
But what happens to those words that go unsaid, and those feelings we suppress?
Unfortunately they don’t just go away. They linger within us and may fester and grow and even turn into something else, but they don’t go away.
Recently I was at a party and having a conversation in which I felt disrespected and spoken down to. My immediate reaction was to let my hurt feelings get the best of me, tell the guy off, grab my things and head home. But instead I quietly backed out of the conversation and went on having a good time.
I may have left the conversation but the conversation didn’t leave me. I knew I needed to talk to him about it. Not in an attacking way, but in a way that allowed me to express my perception of what happened, while making space for him to feel heard too. Challenge accepted.
I’ve sat on both sides of the fence. I’ve been the one that sank to the depths of pain and hurt to tell the other person off, and I’ve gone the other way and said nothing to avoid confrontation, choosing instead to keep my feelings to myself.
In this case I knew deep down that my voice needed to be shared. I could feel the residue of the conversation festering within me, and as I thought about it I could feel the anger that had been invited in.
This is the strength that words unspoken can carry. They spill over into other moments that would otherwise be peaceful and wonderful. Until those feeling are released, shared, or worked out and given words, they stay with us tainting other experiences.
If we have a situation on repeat in our heads, even if it’s playing on the background tape, it’s a sign that we need to face it and speak up. We will carry the negative feeing of the situation with us until it is addressed and released.
Direct correlations between physical ailments and our emotional well-being have been made over the years and are only becoming more prevalent. Best selling author Louise Hay has written many books on this subject and how our emotions and feelings affect our bodies. In fact, there are countless books that have been written and studies conducted based on this subject. Sore throats, laryngitis and even thyroid imbalances are being linked to not speaking up. Sharing our feelings is linked to improved health – this is how powerful our words are.
Say What You Want to Say
If there are things that need to be said but you’re too scared to say them, or worry about the affect they may have, trust that all words delivered with love – even words of truth that may be hard to hear – are always meant to be spoken.
As for my recent situation, I tried understanding why it happened and what there was to learn from it. I soon realized it was the exact situation that allowed me to practice opening up while being truthful and honest with my feelings and showing respect and love for both of us.
Making a point to come from a place of love, I was able to speak my truth and in return received an apology. Not because I asked for it, but because I was understood. But honestly it would not have mattered. While being heard is a beautiful thing, when we speak our truth we set ourselves free. The reaction is secondary.
The greatest gifts we can give anyone, including ourselves, are love and honesty. When we hold back our true feelings we hold back the truth of who we really are, which only holds back our relationships and the growth that could come from them. Being true to ourselves, recognizing the truth of what’s going on and sharing it unravels the binds that may be keeping us from maturing and expressing who we are meant to be.
Finding the courage to speak up may not be easy, but it will always be worth it.
If we communicate what’s in our hearts and express what’s bothering us, we can chart the course for a life capable of more love and expansiveness, self-respect and honor, and a little less dis-ease.
What are you ready to say? Speak up and feel your peace.
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With lots of outspoken love,