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  • Writer's pictureSharanya Naidoo

Speak Your Truth

November 30th 2017

When do you speak your truth, when do you keep silent? In this video we talk about how speaking your truth in certain situations can deepen your connection to loved ones.

This week or today I wanted to share with you a little bit about speaking your truth. So last week we did a video on speaking up and speaking your truth, but today I wanted to talk about speaking your truth even when your voice quivers and the results of doing that.

Short story, on Sundays I have a bunch of ladies, beautiful ladies of all different ages come over and we talk about all things spirituality and modern day lifestyle. And this dilemma of when to speak up and when to speak your truth was raised in one of the sessions a couple of weeks ago.

Is it always necessary to say whatever you’re thinking? Is it always necessary to speak what’s on your mind without filtering? I think that’s an obvious no. We don’t want to verbalise every thought that we have. Not every thought we have is true, kind, or necessary. But we do get into situations where we can walk away and regret not speaking up. So how do we figure out when to speak up and when not to speak up? And when we do speak up what do we say?

One of the ladies had this challenge that came up for her where she was just at her doctor’s, a doctor that she’s been seeing for years and years. She completely trusts and loves this particular doctor and the feeling is mutual. And she was having particular issues that were not getting resolved so she was at the doctor’s a few times in the last month or so. And it was beginning to cost a fair bit because each visit you’ve got to pay around 70 to 80 dollars, not even including the medication or anything else that’s prescribed.

There was a little bit of worry about when is this going to get solved, how many times do I have to keep coming back. And so on the third or fourth visit she suggested to the doctor… she didn’t suggest. She had mentioned to the doctor that she was taking her own blood pressure and in a way monitoring herself and making decisions based on what she was seeing with her blood pressure, medication decisions.

The doctor got flustered and said don’t you ever self-medicate. Don’t you ever self-medicate. And the lady was really shocked because she’d never been spoken to like that before by this doctor. You can understand why the doctor would say such a thing because she was worried about self-medicating and adjusting the level… the amount of medication that you’re having yourself. Making that decision for yourself can be dangerous. But it was based on suggestions that the doctor had given her that month.

For example, she tried this dose, this happened, it was still fluctuating, went in to the doctor, the doctor said try a lower dose, things were still happening, she went in again, the doctor said try a higher dose, things were still happening. And so she decided okay, well this time I might just try a lower dose by myself and just see if it makes any difference. And so when she communicated that to the doctor the doctor was quite furious.

Secondly, it was kind of a yearly check-up, every year the doctor always gets her to do a blood test, just routine blood test, so she said would you mind writing me a script/slip 04:50 for a blood test and I can go get that done. And it was purely innocent. She was coming from the place of we do this every year, let’s just get a routine blood test.

But I have a feeling that the doctor might’ve thought this was also part of her self-diagnosing and the doctor replied with don’t tell me how to do my job which really shook her and it really hurt her. It really made her feel shocked and in that moment she didn’t know what to say. There was nothing to say. There was just too much hurt. Someone you trust speaks to you that way you get shocked, deer in the headlights, you don’t know what to say in that moment because it’s come from left-field. You were doing something innocently but it was interpreted as something inauthentic, being misrepresented.

So then we had our session a couple of weeks later and this came up, it’s like well what do I do? Do I… I’m seeing her this week. It’s been two weeks. Is it too long to bring it up? Should I even bother? And this woman is a deeply spiritual self-reflective person, and she said you know what, I don’t think it was personal, I’m not taking it personally, I think she was having a bad day, she’s never spoken out of term like that before to me, aggressively and a little bit condescendingly. It’s never happened before. I’ve got to let it go. I’ve got to stop being annoyed by this and I’ve got to let it go. I’ve got to not take it personally and just forget about it.

And so, the discussion came up what should she do, she’s seeing the doctor this week. And lots of ideas flew around. There was thoughts of go find another doctor, no one should speak to you disrespectfully, forget about it, go find someone else. And I didn’t think that was necessary because I think it’s always good to give someone the chance, and you can only give someone the chance to explain themselves if you muster up the courage to go and have a chat about it.

My suggestion was to express what had happened, express how she felt to the doctor. And this was the disclaimer. You express because you’re having sleepless nights over it. So it’s obviously mulling inside you and this is getting blocked up and it needs to express. If you try and forget about it what will actually happen is you’ll suppress it. And anytime you’re in a similar situation again it will be like a volcano and you’ll react out of proportion to the situation you’re facing. So when you suppress things that’s what happens. It’s not healthy. And so she was having sleepless nights over it, she was thinking about it constantly, it was really stressing her out, and her blood pressure was the thing that was the point of contention and stress does not help that. So it was not a good situation all round.

I said look, I feel you go in, you talk to the doctor and you just say look, this happened a couple of weeks ago, I just need to tell you how I felt. I understand you might have been having a bad day but you had said to me these things and this is how I felt, and I’ve even considered maybe I should go to another doctor because I feel like I can’t tell you things, like I can’t express what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling. I’m concerned that I’m coming in to spend… it’s been four sessions now in one month, that’s a lot of money. I’m a bit worried about that. I don’t know when it’s going to end. I would never tell you how to do your job. That’s not who I am. I respect you as a doctor. I would never do that. That’s not who I am. And I really felt hurt by the way you spoke to me.

You express what you’re feeling, you explain your experience on the day, this is what happened, and this is what I meant when I asked for the blood test, it was just routine, it was just a normal thing that we do every year, but perhaps you thought I was trying to diagnose for you. That was not what I was trying to do. So you explain what happened from your point of view, you express what you’re feeling, and then you talk about moving forward, moving forward. You say look, I love you as a doctor, I really appreciate our friendship and our relationship, and I don’t actually want to go and find anyone else, but I need to feel safe to tell you what I’ve done without feeling reprimanded by it. I need you to understand why I’ve done certain things and for us to talk about it and not be shut down, and I need you not to speak to me like that because it’s very hurtful and I found it uncomfortable and I didn’t feel respected when I walked out and I haven’t been able to sleep for the last couple of weeks.

You explain from your point of view what happened at the time, you express how you felt, and you suggest moving forward what needs to happen in a respectful way. And in this case, before you even have the conversation, you ask for the platform to speak. I’d like to talk about what happened a couple of weeks ago, please hear me out, and then you go ahead. So that just gives them a framework to not jump in and defend themselves and rebut. They’re giving you space to talk. So you kind of get permission to speak in that way.

We discussed this at our group and we were thinking okay, this is a good plan, let’s go do that. But the thing to remember in the back of your mind is when you’re expressing and speaking your truth you’re doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for yourself. So you’re practicing the skill of assertiveness by speaking up for yourself and you’re practicing the skill of tempering your words, your tone, so that yes you’re speaking your truth, you’re being truthful, but you’re also being kind, so you’re doing it with kindness.

That is a skill that needs to be developed. Some people are born just doing it really well. Most of us need to learn how to do it because we’ve not had models for that. We’ve had to figure it out on our own. We’ve been taught not to speak up for ourselves when we were kids. We didn’t have a voice. Our voice was suppressed. So as adults we then have to try and figure out how to do it for ourselves.

When you approach a situation like that know that you’re expressing it for yourself, for your own healing, for your own peace of mind, to get it out of your system, and the more you do it the more you’ll learn how to do it with kindness and it just won’t be an aggressive attack on the person.

Having said that and knowing that as the foundation of why you’re expressing, it means that you can let go of any expectations you have of how you expect them to respond to you. So you just let go of all those kind of expectations of how you think they should respond. They might not respond well. They might respond aggressively. They might shut you down. They might deny everything. They might call you a liar. They might call you a drama queen. They might say horrible things about you. And to let that go is quite difficult, especially if you’re dealing with someone who’s got aggressive tendencies. So letting go of what they do as a result of you speaking up is difficult but necessary. You’re speaking up to express yourself and to open this up, to open this up, your throat chakra.

We bumped into each other in a social engagement just a couple of days ago and she came up to me and she said I went and saw my doctor and I sat down and I said everything that we kind of discussed and I expressed how I felt that I was really hurt and I don’t want to find another doctor and I really love you and I want to be able to be honest with you and share with you without feeling shut down. And the doctor said I never said that, I never told you that don’t tell me how to do my job. She had forgotten. She’d said it in a burst of anger and she’d forgotten. And the lady said actually you did, you did say it and it really hurt me and it stayed with me for the last couple of weeks.

And the doctor was so remorseful, she was so grateful that this lady had spoken to her and given her the chance to express how she really feels which… She was having a bad day and it wasn’t appropriate and it wasn’t the best thing to do, but you know, hey, we all have bad days, we all say things out of turn, and we’re allowed to forgive each other and forgive ourselves for it.

But it was really a beautiful conclusion because they hugged, they talked about how much they loved each other, and their friendship now is more deeply connected and this relationship, doctor-patient relationship is strengthened because the lady had the courage to speak her truth and to not sweep it under the rug and to not run away and find another doctor but to confront it and to have the difficult conversation and to allow her throat to relax and speak up. It’s difficult, it’s challenging, it’s nerve-racking but it’s a skill that can be developed and you get better and better at it the more you do it.

Understanding that speaking your truth is your gift to yourself is a big aha moment. So you can speak your truth and not expect any particular response back because of it. So you don’t only speak up when you think they’re going to respond a certain way. So you don’t filter out when you need to speak up for yourself based on the other person’s reaction. Oh, they’re not going to listen anyway, they’re going to throw it back in my face, why bother.

And the reason why you should bother is if you’re having sleepless nights and you’re not expressing yourself and communicating openly then you’re holding on to that energy, that frustration, the anger. Sometimes rage is inside your body. And the reason why you’re having those emotions is because you’re not allowing yourself to express, to say what it is, to clear the air, to not sweep it under the rug but to be transparent and to allow yourself the permission, the right to speak, to say what you feel, to say what you think, to ask for what you want. It’s a place of power, not disempowerment.

And so, when you speak up for yourself it’s a gift that you give yourself. It’s twofold, you express rather than suppress, and you are cultivating the habit of speaking up and being assertive so that when it happens, when you’re in the deer in headlights moment and this shock of someone attacking you or saying something inappropriate or horrible happens and you’re in that situation, you’ve got the presence of mind and the calmness and the relaxation to then speak up in the moment and not walk away regretting… ah, I should’ve said that, that’s what I was thinking, I should’ve said that. It’s probably too late now.

You cultivate the habit of being able to express yourself moment by moment because you are able to keep calm, you’re allowed to… you allow yourself the permission to speak so there’s no confusion, should I say something, should I not say something, and you’re teaching yourself how to do it with kindness so that you’re not meeting aggression with aggression which is never good. You’re meeting aggression with assertiveness which is where healing can take place, even if it’s just for yourself.

That’s it for today and that’s all about speaking up for ourselves and allowing ourselves to be transparent, allowing ourselves to ask for what we want, and allowing someone who you feel wronged by, allowing them the chance to also defend themselves and to express how they truly feel about you which could just be lovely and beautiful and they might not have meant what they said at the time. They might have been having a bad day. And so it’s an opportunity to deepen connection rather than encourage disconnection.



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