Have there been times in your life when you’ve been involved in some form of verbal conflict and found yourself justifying your beliefs? Have you ever not said what you needed to say when you needed to say it? Maybe you’ve believed that you should acquiesce to those who are higher up on the food chain so to speak, or who have more experience or time in the field and so you believe they know more and have earned the right to say their piece and have it heard. Have you felt that you have the right to make your viewpoint known only to find out that someone else thinks that you should just ‘suck it up buttercup’? Have you ever swallowed your right to speak, your annoyance, your anger, your despair? Have there ever been times when you have in the end, disrespected yourself?
Even as I continue to step into leadership in my own life, I sometimes get caught in the trap of worrying if I have a right to speak my truth and worrying about the consequences which might be levied on me when I do that and others take umbrage. And I hold conversations with myself to justify to myself my right to speak. Even as I am awake to all this, it still moves in me and I am caught in a loop of past beliefs.
These past few days, I’ve been living such an experience. At first, I didn’t say anything and did what was requested of me to justify my continued existence in a particular organization. This, even when I knew then [and know now] that there was nothing that I had to do to justify myself or to beg forgiveness for. When I knew [and know] that meeting the expectations set out by others felt that I was, in effect, accepting the judgement of others that I was in the ‘wrong’ and had made a mistake. And I began to get angry with myself. Here I was, yet again, not stating my position. I was bowing to old ways of being and thinking. I was backing away from my personal truth. I was swallowing my anger.
And finally I stopped and said what I needed to say in the way which served me. I made my position very clear and followed through in the way that honoured me and my personal truth.
When I chose to do that, immediately, all the turmoil inside me just let go. I was true to myself. And even as others let me know that they felt I should have not said anything and that I should have not chosen to engage as I did, I know that I am now done, as Louise would say. I’ve moved forward and beyond it. I know that, in respecting myself and honouring what I knew I needed to do, there is nothing for which I have to make amends. I am the lawmaker in my own life – the only one whose voice I need to attend to. I have honoured the I AM that I AM.
So, if you find yourself questioning your right to speak your truth, take time to breathe and go with your gut. Honour yourself. Do what you know is right for you. I’m not suggesting that you act maliciously or go off half-cocked. Just listen to yourself and respond to what you know you need to do in a way which also honours who you know yourself to truly be.
Revel in your intensity. And celebrate the joy of exercising your right to speak your truth.