Mixed media on water colour paper
©2016 Louise Gallagher
A friend is telling me of a conversation they are afraid to initiate with a loved one. They are in pain. Feeling sad. Broken. Confused.
What is the worst that could happen if you have the conversation? I ask.
And they tell me of their fear that their loved one will get angry. Storm out. Deny. Refuse. Reject.
What is the worst that could happen if you don’t have the conversation? I ask next.
And their shoulders slump, their eyes close momentarily and they breathe a deep, sadness-tinged sigh and whisper, “Nothing will change.”
So often, we see a situation through the eyes of our fear of what the other will do, how they will respond or react when we speak up, challenge the status quo or ask for what we want. In our fixation on their behaviour, we forget to look at how our feelings are the result of our silence, not someone else’s behaviour. How our silence is the thing that is trapping us in the place of inaction and inertia, keeping us stuck in believing ‘there is no point’, no hope, no possibility of different. In our silence, we put power and control in the hands of another, and blame them for making us feel… less than, bad, helpless…
When I let go of blaming another for my feelings, I give myself the grace to turn up for me. I allow my courage to draw me out of confusion and drive fear away.
When I turn up, pay attention, lovingly speak my truth and stay unattached to the outcome, I am powerful beyond my wildest imaginings. In that place of surrendering my fear and turning up in courage, anything is possible. Hearts can break down walls, close gaps in understanding and break-through to clarity, connectedness and commitment. In that place, I am free to be me without fearing my truth is not allowed, my needs not acceptable, my dreams not worthy.
What if, I asked my friend, you chose to break your silence to invite the other to step into a sacred circle of love where truth-telling does not wound and is so powerful it draws you ever closer together?
What if, you accepted your truth matters? It is as important, relevant, necessary as another’s?
What if, you believed you have the right to speak up? Ask for what you want? Be present?
What if, you believed you are worthy? What would you do differently?
What if, we all believed we are worthy of speaking our truth and living this one precious life as if every life matters, every voice counts, every truth makes a difference and has the capacity to make the world a better place?
What would we do differently?