A Journey to Stillness – An Ongoing Process
And then the day came
when the risk to remain tight in a bud was
more painful than the risk to bloom.
~ Anais Nin
A Journey to Stillness – An Ongoing Process
I have used the quote above before. I find it holds a new meaning for me these days. I have been working with the question, “What will I allow?”, for a while now and find myself bumping up against my own self- worth. The “risk to remain tight in the bud” is a painful risk, yet I can feel the fear that comes with the “risk to bloom”. I am aware of my own conflict of speaking my truth and my own fear of rejection or abandonment.
Our next Saturday class is on communication. I love the preparation process for teaching a class or leading a retreat. The process always leads me deeper into myself and my own process. So, in preparing to work with communication, I find myself looking at where I hold back from speaking my own truth. I find myself looking at the people and situations where I hold back. The places where I find myself most afraid to speak my truth. What am I so afraid will happen if I just share what is in my heart?
I am known for being a compassionate listener. Yes, I will own that. However, one thing I have become increasingly aware of is my willingness to listen to others with compassion, but not myself in the same open- hearted way. This is a tough truth to face and to own. Yet, if I am completely honest with myself, I must own that I listen to myself with much less compassion than I listen to others.
I know that any time we are willing to listen to another with compassion and not give ourselves that same kindness, we are dealing with an issue of self-worth. At the same time, whenever we are afraid to speak our truth to another, for fear of losing their love, for fear of being abandoned, we are facing the same issue of self- worth.
Stepping out and saying what we feel is a risk. It comes with consequences. Yet, any time we withhold the truth from another, we risk our self-worth. For we cannot hope to “bloom” if we don’t risk showing up and being authentically who we are.
An important aspect of this process of speaking our truth is learning to speak our truth from a respectful, compassionate place. When a relationship matters, then it is very important we learn how to communicate with one another in a way where both parties feel safe, loved and respected.
For me, I ask myself, “Will I be proud of what I have said and how I have said it? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it honest? Am I speaking my truth or just saying what I think will give me the love I long for?”
In communicating, how we say something is as important as what we say. Every heart has a way it needs to be spoken to. I learned this important fact when I worked with children many years ago. That fact has served me throughout the years.
For many years, I provided supervision for other therapists. One important lesson I often spoke to is, “Always be aware of who you are talking to”. I have regret for the times I forgot this important lesson in my own life, for I have caused heartbreak for others, as well as myself by forgetting this one important point. Learning how someone needs to be spoken to is an act of love. It shows willingness and a genuine caring.
So, of course, this means we must be willing to know our own heart well enough to hear how we need to be spoken to. For instance, I don’t like to be told. I would much rather be asked. So, teaching those who love me to ask and not tell is important information that can facilitate the process of deepening relationship.
Being willing to say to someone we love,”I would rather you said that to me in another way,” or however you can let them know that how they speak to you closes your heart instead of opens it.
We each are responsible to let the people we love know what we need. No one can read our mind. If we don’t speak up when someone says something that hurts us or offends us, then we are not taking care of ourselves or the relationship. We must be willing to speak our truth, stand up for what we need and want in relationship in a way that promotes safety and trust in the relationship.
We can never build trust within a relationship by withholding our truth. So, allow yourself to be a compassionate, honest listener to yourself and to the others in your life. Take the risk to bloom. I promise you will never be sorry in the long run.