Recently, I have been intrigued with so many voices committing to this new mission to “speak their truth”. I was recently in a conversation with a very good friend of mine and he talked about living and speaking his truth. And, in his diatribe he listed all of the things he’d said to this person and that person … and how he was “honest about how I’m feeling” and “not gon’ be scared to say what I need to say.” And, I wondered…
Are you speaking your truth or just…
Well… Let me back up and chat a bit about my first moments I was exposed to this truth speaking…
“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful nubian princess who… ” .. just kidding —
So.. In 2014 I found myself making my exodus from a VERY LONG 1 year marriage. Yes.. EXODUS! Honey I had been walking the wilderness of miscommunication, immaturity, pride , emotional manipulation and a host of other bad behaviors birthed from two unhealthy people entering into a union masked by religious church attendance and a grossly misleading social media presence. But, we WERE SO IN LOVE ON FACEBOOK! (pause for “awww”) HA! Now, please don’t go calling your girlfriends, sista friends, book club members, and brunch buddies bashing “another no good black man”! That is hardly the case. We both contributed considerably to one another’s neurosis. Both unhealthy, both enablers of poor behavior, both co-dependent, both a little messed up! (That blog content is in progress… not quite ready to get completely naked).
During the great exodus, I found myself on the couch, inhaling peppermint and lavender essential oils, “doing the work”. Yes, this saved sanctified holy ghost filled tongue talking in the spirit dancing woman of God was in therapy seeking Psycho-emotional healing. (That blog content is in progress… not quite ready to piss everybody off). My therapist, a beautiful, black woman with a big juicy fro, sat across from me legs crossed, displaying the baddest pair of strappy sandals ever. After 30ish minutes of chatting, she smacked me with “what are you worthy of?” In my haughty intellectual prowess (at least I thought), I stated all the things of which I was worthy… and she stopped me in the middle of my recitation and said, “No! I am asking you, WHAT – ARE – YOU – WORTHY – OF“… I fell immediately into the sister girl, head to the side, now wait a minute, shoulders back, preparation for attack posture. I cleared my throat, attempted to match her got it together disposition and said, “please clarify your question.” Instead of doing what I TOLD HER TO DO, she simply restated the question. This time with a little “extra”. By this time I was furious… well, maybe, not so much. I was exhausted. Instead of answering the question, I wept… and wept… and wept. She watched and waited while I wailed. I remember burying my face in her pillow, that smelled like too much effort was put in to ensuring is smelled fresh, and screamed. She let me.
She ended the session with a homework assignment for me to think through “what are you worthy of” and to come back “ready to speak your truth.”
I returned to our next session and embarked on a journey of several months of becoming… I became a Truth Sayer and a Truth Slayer, speaking to my then current reality and unmasking many points of pain. I slayed lies I had told myself with honest self evaluations and laid them to rest. I spoke my truth and was freed. Mostly… from myself.
Cue Game of Thrones outro music…
So, I made this quick and dirty detour from the original content of this post to revisit my introduction to “speaking my truth”. I found great benefits in being coached through a process of learning how to be honest with myself about me. This process included difficult conversations, journaling, reading articles/books/blogs, prayer, all with the goal of critical SELF reflection. Speaking my truth didn’t hurt anyones feelings, include anyone else’s behavior, depend on anyone else’s response, action or reaction toward me. It was only about ME and my process of personal emotional and spiritual transformation.
Ok… so now back to my original wondering… was my friend truly speaking his truth or just… using that an excuse to say some s*** you been wanting to say to address someone’s else’s behavior choices?
Now, I find that people readily engage in this truth speaking as a means to fulfill a bit of a different agenda. I worry the “speak your truth” has become a euphemism giving us license to tell someone off or evaluate some other person’s behavior that is offensive. And, is that really Speaking YOUR truth? I wonder.
I think in a time when so much tension exists in our communites, families and across our country, we must carefully determine our motives and agenda when engaging with one other over difficult or controversial matters. Is it okay to honestly (in love) have conversations that are hard? ABSOLUTELY. But, if I kinda just wanna tell you off because I don’t like your response toward me or your decisions on how you choose to interact with me am I operating IN MY TRUTH? I’m not sure.
I believe that difficult conversations with others can only be effective once we have had the REALLY difficult conversations with ourselves.
So, in this lengthy post, my lived experience has taught me to be truthful with myself, digging deep to identify the roots of my triggers, being intentional in seeking to discover the causes of my own behaviors. Then my truth speaking can occur as a healing balm to broken relationships or provide the key to unlock doors in my hostage situations of unhealthy relationships and make way for healthy necessary endings.
So continue to speak your truth; but, be truthful with you. Then your truth will be much more meaningful to others!
Until next time… keep listening as LifeSpeaks!
Peace & Love