Speaking Your Truth When You’re Afraid
Truth is soft like a feather. It protects you from getting wet in a storm, it keeps you warm in cold winter nights and it will always help you fly.
But when we’re afraid — of losing love, being ridiculed, seeming unknowledgeable — fear tells us “not now, speak next time”. And just like that we move into a crippling silence.
Meditation made me fall in love with silence. The one that speaks for truth. The one that sings sweet voices of freedom in spite of being veiled by troubling thoughts. The one that teaches us how to speak when it’s needed.
More than ever, we live now in times that our voices are necessary. A time when not knowing how to speak the truth only deepens our wound, dividedness and loneliness.
Sometimes people think that blurting their (smart) opinions is telling the truth (that must be told). The rift between the heart and what matters to you may be healed by learning to discern between opinion and what is called in Buddhism right speech.
There’s a simple and powerful question that can cut through the noise of opinions and reveal your heart’s most pressing truth—
”What does my heart need to say but my mind/personality is afraid to?”
We forget that as much as our heart’s sacred wishes are part of our nature “fear is a part of human nature” too, as Dharmavidya David Brazer says, “so there is little point in forcing ourselves to overcome it or pretending to be unaffected by it. In fact, we do so at our peril.”
When you’re afraid your heart sees most clearly like an owl in a dense forest at night. Fear and truth are sisters in the choreography of creating a belonging for us all. In the darkness of your fears you can suspend your actions and hunt for the subtle movements that speak of a hidden truth.
Truth speaking: I’m afraid we forgot how to ask questions in a time that governments are rushing to give answers they don’t have.
Truth speaking: I feel we’re at a golden opportunity to make some real change in the realities we keep on complaining about, but it takes courage to not be popular for your views.
Truth speaking: I don’t always have that courage to be unpopular.
Truth speaking: I want us all to be able to listen to each other and find the ways to build bridges over chasms of differences. But sometimes I’m paralysed by what I hear.
So this is how I start.
With where I am
inside my breath
following the exhale
all the way to the end
in that pause
without pushing for another
for the nameless
until I see
how truth speaks to me
though a word
or a colour
or a silence broken
Shelly Sharon helps those who have the heart wish to meet their deepest truth learn how to face it, trust it and express it confidently and lovingly
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Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash