Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Speaking the Truth is not always a cake walk

16 Comments

On the second weekend of the Choices journey, (Givers 1) we talk about the 6 points of power:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Speak the Truth
  3. Be Responsible for YOUR Life (be accountable)
  4. Ask for what you want
  5. Keep YOUR Agreements
  6. Create Value in ALL things

Speaking the Truth can be challenging. For me, the fear of rejection, my fear that someone won’t like me, or will be angry with what I have to say kept me from speaking up and standing comfortably with my boundaries intact. Because my boundaries used to be so weak and permeable, I continually compromised on my truth and subsequently, lived someone else’s truth. In that process, I became more fearful, not less.

For me, speaking my truth is about lovingly standing my ground without fearing the other person’s reactions. I am not responsible for how people respond. I trust myself to be responsible for and with my words. I trust others to be responsible as well. My trust is not based on their actions, but on my ability to discern how their words and actions affect me. When I respond negatively to someone, it is not a reflection of them. It is something in me that is creating that response. My responsibility is to honour what it is in me by taking appropriate action. It is my responsibility to be true to my values, principles and beliefs.

When I speak my truth, I do not have the right to hurt nor harm someone else. My truth is not a stick with which I bludgeon others. My truth is not a knife with which to spear someone else’s heart in order to open them up to me.

My truth is a reflection of me. How I speak it is a reflection of who I am, my values, principles and beliefs.

When I am angry, my truth reflects my emotion, not my being. I have the right to my anger, I never have the right to be cruel.

Several years ago I managed an organization where the principle was extremely abusive. He believed that it was okay to berate staff, to scream and yell for what he wanted, to threaten dire consequences when he didn’t get it.

I didn’t believe the same things.

For six months, I worked hard to keep staff from feeling the brunt of this man’s abusive behaviour. One of the things I did was organize a two day retreat with the core team to facilitate healing and communication. At the retreat, the principle committed to stop yelling, cursing and belittling staff. I committed to staying on board — with a caveat — if the behaviour continued, I would resign.

One day, shortly after the retreat, the principle started shouting and swearing at the staff in a meeting. I stood up and said, I do not accept this behaviour and I left.

In that instance of speaking my truth I was responsible for my actions and words. My truth was, I do not accept abusive behaviour. I could not change the man. I could not determine whether or not others chose to remain under his abuse. I was not that powerful. My power was in my capacity to make the changes I needed to honour my truth.

Inside me there was a voice that wanted to scream at this individual and rant and rave and really tear a strip off of him in front of his staff. While the momentary relief of doing that might have made me feel good, the truth is — that behaviour would have compromised my values, principles and beliefs.

I value courteous behaviour. I value common decency. I value respect.

I stand true to myself when I step lightly through each moment with dignity, grace and respect. When the footprints I leave are filled with love and do not become potholes for others to fall into.

I believe I am responsible for every thought, word I speak, action I take.

I believe I am responsible for my own happiness. And I trust others to be responsible for theirs.

I believe the world is a place of infinite possibility and beauty.

I believe it is up to me to create it in my own life and to lovingly share my light so that the world around me is illuminated with love that will inspire others to step joyfully through their days — regardless of the weather.

When I stand comfortably in my truth, I am standing in love. In love, I do not hurt others. I do not retaliate unkindly. I lovingly state what is true for me, and do not give myself up to make their truth mine.

There are no boundaries to speaking truth as long as we remember, there is truth in everything, but not all things are true. In our truth is the only place we can stand to live free of fear that our truth is not enough.

We are enough.

In all our truth.

***************

Thank you RH for the inspiration for today’s blog.

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

16 thoughts on “Speaking the Truth is not always a cake walk

  1. This was so timely for me! I have really been struggling with the difference between being obnoxiously aggressive to just snap like a BRAT to stomp my foot and feel HEAR ME!!! And being appropriately assertive to get my needs met and surprise, surprise, I still get them met along with the resepect I craved when I’d do it the other way which never worked well for me. LOL.
    I mean unless someone is going to hit you… a blaring horn never did anyone any good… even the one honking it just gets more worked up… (that was a metaphor…lol) Anywaaay once again… you nailed what I needed. I’m hiring you to be my life coach!!!! I wish!
    xoxo

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    • Thanks Di — so glad it struck a chord with you too — and it is always a balance isn’t it — being assertive versus aggressive. — now… don’t get me started on the male vs female aspect of those words… πŸ™‚ And a good metaphor btw! Hugs

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  2. This is a powerful story Louise – thank you for sharing it and reminding us that we cannot control the reactions of others to our truths.

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  3. I concur with how you speak and believe the truth that you affirmly stand. Great essay.

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  4. Very powerful post and especially this “there is truth in everything, but not all things are true”.
    One day I WOULD like to hear your view on the male vs female perspective of aggressive / assertive. I listened to a TED video by the author of Lean In (facebook CEO – forget her name) and she spoke of this very thing. It is an inspiring talk.

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  5. Fantastic post, Louise! Loved this……fits exactly with my philosophy and how we lose ourselves by acting contrary to our values and principles. (Though I must admit that aggression can be intoxicating). The more I live true to my temperament and values, the happier and healthier my relationships are—with others and with myself. Wonderful post today, thank you! Love CZ

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  6. I forwarded this post to a few friends b/c it resonated with me so much…thank you for speaking the truth!

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  7. Louise,

    I love this post so much that I hope you don’t mind if I “reblog” it? I’d like people on the forum to read it.

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  8. What a strong message. To take responsibility in what we accept
    In our lives.
    A very empowering message to young women everywhere!

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  9. Thank you for this. I have always valued honesty above all else. I’ve always felt that placed me against the grain, but I embraced it anyway. I am nothing if not my truth.

    When I compromised my core beliefs, allowed my boundaries to fade…wow, I already said it…I compromised myself. I thought I was supposed to give and take but all I got was drained while boosting the ego of a narcissist. Not one to give up…that lasted a lot longer than it should have. I was naive and inexperienced in relationships. Now I don’t feel that I want or need one, which is healthier for me.

    I feel that once I’d accepted (poor word, but close…allowed, tolerated, was hooked by?) abuse from one source, others found their way in. Abusive relationship, abusive bosses. Simultaneous chaos.

    Once I learned the importance of boundaries and living for me, and fully believed in it, no one could challenge these things and get through. I’ve gained my self-respect back and it radiates. It makes me happy because that’s how I want and choose to be. If people don’t like it, I barely hesitate to think too long about it.

    Before it would have crushed me to think someone didn’t like me. (I actually just assumed everyone hated me, it was easier that way.) It was empowering to learn that I get to choose whether or not I like them or if their opinion even matters. If it is negative, it doesn’t.

    I may never know or understand love but I have my truth, strength, and self respect.

    Liked by 1 person

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