Clear communication is so important when it comes to understanding and being understood, but for many people, it isn’t easy. There are all kinds of reasons we don’t always say what we mean — maybe we don’t want to admit what it is that we want, because we feel conflicted about wanting it; we might feel ashamed, or afraid or insecure. Maybe we were taught that our feelings didn’t have an impact on the people or the world around us, so we don’t bother. We might think we already know what the other party will say. Perhaps we want to avoid confrontation or uncomfortable conversations. We might be quiet because we know if we speak up, things will have to change. So much can get lost in translation when we keep things to ourselves, hoping other people will possess the gift of telepathy.
Sometimes we avoid saying a thing, because we fear it might cause pain for someone else, but most people would really prefer to understand what’s happening, even if it hurts. I mean, of course you always want to do your best to speak kindly, and with compassion, to put yourself on the receiving end before you speak, but I don’t believe you do anyone any favors by keeping them in the dark; most people know when something is off. We may not want to know a thing, but usually if something is stirring below the surface, we know it in our hearts.
Life is pretty short, and it isn’t an easy gig. We have an unknown and finite amount of time, as do all the people we hold dear. We all have a song to sing, we have particular gifts to offer. It’s worth asking yourself, if you knew you only had a year to live, what would you do? I don’t just mean your bucket list, here, I mean, what would you say? Where would you put your energy? With whom would you spend your time? Is there something you’d stop doing or being right away? You realize you might only have a year, right? I mean, I hope you have ninety more great ones, I’m just saying, life doesn’t happen out in front of us, someday when “things calm down.” It’s happening right now, today, this is it.
I think you really make yourself sick when you deny what’s in your heart. I’m speaking mostly of big things here, the meaningful things we push down, but even in day-to-day interactions, every time you make yourself small, or shy away from saying what you mean, you weaken yourself. You can say what’s on your mind in a kind but confident way, it just takes practice. It takes more practice for some people than others, but it’s a gift to assert yourself. You won’t get everything you want, of course, but life is hard enough without adding murkiness to the equation. Even when we speak clearly and allow ourselves to be known and seen, intimacy is still challenging, but it’s completely unrealistic to hope for it if you leave too much under the rug. Dishonoring your tender heart is painful and lonely, and it will deplete you. Feeling like no one really knows you is lonely, but betraying yourself is the loneliest thing there is.
Sending you love,
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