I caught up with one of my closest friends this weekend and we were having one of those conversations over a glass of wine that you can only really have with someone who knows you...but like truly knows you. One of those raw, off-key, brutally honest, uncensored, unapologetic, undiluted conversations that don't require you to explain or justify your thoughts. (And one which you'd probably die if someone overheard). An exchange that welcomed over-sharing and making light of unfavourable situations – somewhere between a rant, a psychotherapy session and a comedy sketch. Essentially my favourite kind of conversation. It takes a special kind of connection to hold space for all of that unfiltered thinking-out-loud realness. And as we darted from one obscure topic to the next, cocooned in our politically incorrect bubble, I felt sweet relief. This honest sharing had reminded me just how much we are expected to censor ourselves in our usual day to day interactions – and with good reason, of course. There are, for instance, safe and unsafe spaces for sharing; certain levels of appropriateness and boundaries to be considered; and the very real fact that not everyone is obligated or deserving of your truth. However, is it possible we could find a healthier balance?
How many times have you held your tongue in situations where you'd later wished you'd spoken up? Imprisoned by your own insecurities. What about all of those times someone has offended you and your response has been 'it's fine'. Here's a thought: if it isn't fine then perhaps don't tell someone it is. Tell them you're pissed off or disappointed or hurt or confused – tell them your truth. Freedom ultimately follows the momentary awkwardness, knowing that deep down dishonesty only breeds resentment and stagnation. There are countless times I've held back on sharing my true feelings with people through fear of judgement, ridicule, attack or just plain old fear itself, and later regretted it. So, let's stop under-reacting. If you need space, say it. If you need more, say it. If you need help, please say it; scream it from the rooftops if you feel it's necessary. Sometimes we don't speak our truth because we don't like how it sounds. Mostly, I think it's through fear of what others may think of us. But how refreshing would it be if your response to 'what have you been up to?' was a little more accurate or original than 'just working' or 'the same old'? How about you tell people what you've really been up to? – Having breakdowns and breakthroughs, gaining insights and intuition, losing friends, remembering who you are, forgiving yourself, grieving, self-medicating, figuring it all out, channelling your pain creatively, learning to love yourself, trying to stay grounded, prioritising self-care. Can you imagine the look on people's faces? In an age of fake and filters, the truth is confronting, but maybe we need to shake things up every now and again.
Only when our commitment to our own evolvement outweighs the fears we have around how others might perceive us will we find true peace. You don't need permission or advice to live the life you long to live; to speak the words that free you. You intuitively know everything you're seeking externally. Oh, the torture of needing everything you already are from another...
It's you; it's always been you.