I wanted to write today about something so important to me and something that is really beginning to have a positive effect on my life. I want to write about being more open and honest. Honest with myself hence honest with others. If a friend or partner said something to me that upset me I would think and say a lot. Numerous thoughts and multiple conversations. The only problem was that these conversations were in my head.
I would never say this to the person involved. What was it that stopped me? Fear! What would they say? What would they do? What would they think of me? What would happen? How would it, could it be resolved? Fear of the unknown would hold me back yet again.
A few years ago I spoke to a friend about our relationship. A huge undertaking. Fear. Anxiety. Exposed. Vulnerability. These words were how I felt. Then I started to speak. As more words came out of my mouth I felt more relaxed. I was finally connecting to my truth, my innermost feelings. I felt more free, empowered and connected.
I began to realise that the only negative in the situation is in keeping your thoughts to yourself. How the other person responds in the communication is not your problem. Speaking calmly, without judgement, with honesty and respect is enough. I felt proud that I could do that.
Honest communication can be effective in growing a relationship and bringing a deeper connection. Sometimes it can reveal what you may already know deep inside, that a relationship has grown apart. I will write about this in more detail in another post. The outcome will show you what to do next, if anything. It will bring an issue to the table.
Being honest is learning a skill. Nerves, anxiety takes over at the start. You can be defensive, your protection to a perceived threat. Your survival instincts kick in. This is normal. For some, this is an extreme reaction. For all, there is a sense of needing protection. You can not be grounded and anxious at the same time as you can not be in two contradictory states at the same time.
If you are not grounded, you are unlikely to speak with assertion and integrity. Your basic need is protection, safety. If you are not self aware, you do not have a healthy sense of self and/or you have yet to practice honesty your response is likely to be defensive and often aggressive in nature. You put on your armour ready to fight. Fire! You let out a barrage of aargh. You blast your emotions everywhere. This is not a calm, honest expression of how you feel. It is a myriad of emotions rolled into one sticky flapjack.
For me, it was sadness, frustration and anger mixed with portions of isolation. Feeling unimportant and sometimes feeling invisible. It was fear mixed with a longing to just express how I was feeling as an open conversation.
A memory comes to mind. I was in a coffee shop last year (yes I know, I love my coffee shops). I had an incident with non other than a lady and a cup of soya milk. The simplest experiences often provide the biggest learning. The gist of the conversation was that the lady was blaming me for wasting coffee when quite simply the drink was just wrong, a few times. My chest was tight, I had uncomfortable feelings throughout my body. Despite this, I was aware there was a difference.
I was not taken over by my feelings. There was a change, a shift and quite a big one. I spoke. I did not react. I was assertive. I was not defensive. I showed confidence in myself and what I knew to be right. I simply explained how I felt. I did not feel bad. I did not raise my voice. I spoke calmly. I felt amazing. I felt empowered. I felt super proud.
I was exercising the ‘power of now’.
This was another pinnacle moment in my honesty with other people. Actually, it is really an honesty with myself. I am not hiding what I am feeling. I am not hiding what I am thinking. If something needs to be said I am more able to say it. This is an ongoing road for me, a relatively new road so I am sure I will not manage it every time. This is ok. I am aware.
The beauty of learning and growing