by Kat Lindsay
In the past few weeks, life has been inviting me to speak my truth. It has been a hard pill to swallow, because I come from a background steeped in “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” (I have even caught myself saying this to my oldest son recently.)
For many of us, the truth is a very challenging thing to speak, especially if it stings or is hard for others to hear. We have been conditioned, mostly through fear, to stay silent or else lose our lives. Here in the West, it’s no longer our lives that are at stake but our sense of self, our faith, our relationships. As a human society, we have thousands of years of fear stacked against us, trying to convince us that it is better to be alive and silent than to put ourselves in the line of fire.
But the times, they are a’changing! Today’s new moon in Gemini is illuminating the parts of us that have been afraid of speaking our truths and challenging us to do just that. The stars have literally aligned in order to invite us to dig deeper into our hearts and discover what our truth is and learn–through practice–how to speak this to the people around us with clarity and with kindness.
In my one small life, there is a particular situation that has become a powerful teacher for this very thing. In the beginning, I wasn’t speaking my truth. I was trying to be nice and not rock the boat. I was hoping that things would resolve themselves without me having to be raw and honest with the other person. As you can imagine, this didn’t go over so well.
I have done this a lot in my life; chosen niceties over truths, for the sake of in-the-moment harmony. But this one act is a sacrifice to having true harmony, true peace, and real Truth in my life. These days life is screaming at me to change, to transform. As the age-old wisdom from the Bible says, “…The truth shall set you free.” I am learning how to free myself.
It is often really difficult to speak up when something doesn’t feel right, especially within a friendship. But two truths have become blatantly clear to me: 1. We are all sensitive beings–when we tap into this superpower–, and we can feel when someone isn’t in alignment with their truth, and it doesn’t feel good; 2. As a dear friend recently said to me, clarity is kindness. We all deserve to know the truth. If a something doesn’t feel good for you, then the most respectful thing to do is to communicate your truth with the other person, with as much kindness and clarity as you can muster. (I’m trying to do this too.)
I am practicing this truth-telling every day. And it ain’t easy. It’s a practice, which means I’m not doing it perfectly, by any means. I’m stumbling, falling down sometimes and making tons of mistakes. But it is well worth the mistakes. I am becoming more compassionate, more honest with myself and others, and more confident of what I know is true for me. I am learning how not to blame others for how I feel, but to take responsibility for my feelings and stay focused in the love while still speaking my truth.
As children, we are born truth-tellers. Babies spit out smashed peas when they don’t like it. Kids say–without an ounce of shame–“ I don’t like you!”–to your face. My littles have definitely stung me countless times with their truths! And you know what?? I still love them. I respect them–for their bravery and authenticity. And I learn from them, how to trust, without a doubt, that if I tell my truth to the other person, I will still be loved.
At the core of this fear of telling the truth is the root fear of not being loved. And we all–myself included–need to wake up to the Truth that we can’t ever not be loved, because Love is what we are made of. We ARE love. Every cell of our bodies, our Spirit, our souls, and our lives are constructed out of the shimmering, resilient fabric of Love.
When we believe this and take this Truth home to our hearts, that love can never be lost, and speaking our everyday truths becomes easier. We begin to pave the way for more truth, more healthy alignment to surge through our lives. We open the current of love to flow, and we invite in more and more love. It’s definitely scary to begin this process, but the fruits are sweet indeed.
I am grateful for the challenging situations that I have faced this past month, the people who have pushed me to wake up to this truth. (Even though it’s been uncomfortable!) I am grateful to have the confidence to free my voice, to trust in my truth, and be able to communicate with kindness, clarity and love.
May this new month bring you closer to your everyday truths and the Universal Truth that you are loved and Love itself.
In truth and love,
Here is an exercise that our dear friend Lauren Elizabeth Walsh posted to her Global Sisterhood newsletter list. It’s in harmony with this blog, and I found it super helpful in moving some energy around this topic. I hope it serves you as well.
Free The Voice Ritual
- Choose a situation where you are withholding your truth, people pleasing, perhaps not asking for your need or setting an appropriate boundary.
- Journal for at least 5 mins about what you’re afraid might happen if you spoke your truth in this situation: What someone might do, say or think… Are you willing to risk having that response in the name of liberating your authenticity and power to create a healthy foundation for yourself?
- Write a letter to the person/people and say everything you feel; however, don’t send it.
- If there’s a lot of emotion or blame, move the energy through exercise, singing, painting, yelling, dancing or even throwing rocks in nature if you need to (Note: unexpressed truth can feel like anger).
- Take responsibility for your part, dissolving blame of the other person, choosing and breathing in forgiveness – so when you speak your truth you reduce the judgment, projection, blame and likelihood they will get defensive or reactive. Remember to stay connected to the heart.
- Practice Speaking – You may want to practice in front of the mirror with both feet connecting to the earth, speaking from your navel power center and heart. Notice whether you need to set a boundary, request for a need to be met, or simply be heard – if it’s a need/request you can practice Non Violent Communication by imagining saying to that person “When you do/say_____(Be Specific) I feel _______ because my need for ______ isn’t being met. Are you available to do/say ______ instead?”
- Let a friend know you are going to share your truth with someone and when you intend to do it for accountability and emotional support.
- Schedule a time to speak with the person – ask them before speaking whether they have a moment to be present with you. Try to create a sacred space or sacred moment.
- No matter what happens love yourself for doing your best and practicing your authentic truth. It can be difficult at first, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t express yourself exactly as you had practiced. There will be many, many opportunities in the future.
The Truth Behind Austin Street Artist Mike Johnston
Speaking of truth, Mike Johnston is a popular Austin muralist who goes by the moniker, “Truth.” He creates “art that gives inspiration and joy.” He’s a self-made success story and a local legend in the street art scene here in Austin, Texas, where he is the source of hundreds of friendly pink monsters, gigantic sneakers, mustaches, and historical figures we know and love—Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus…
Here, 5-year-old Daniel Lindsay represents the Wild Family team as our ace reporter, on a December 8, 2014 interview with Austin street artist, Mike “Truth” Johnston. Choose full-screen HD for best viewing!See The Full Story