Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the outcome.
Tell the truth.
It seems so easy, doesn’t it? “Tell the truth.” And how do we tell the truth, when sometimes it’s not easy? And of course, there is the question: “what is truth?”
When folks in our communities begin to show up and to pay attention, it’s time to tell the truth. How do we tell our neighbor that their noise is interfering in my life? How do we tell the truth when we are fearful of reactions?
This is a tough one, to be sure. First of all, to “tell the truth,” even if you’re angry, doesn’t mean lashing out with the truth. Sure, you may be angry, but as adults, we learn to temper our anger by acknowledging it to ourselves and then speaking it out – often without using the words: “I’m angry.”
Again, this is a tough one. There are lots of “anger management” courses out there – and with good reason! Breathe. Stop for a moment. Take in your feelings as much as the situation you’re in. Step back from the situation. Talk to someone else about it. Maybe you decide you’re over-reacting, and you walk away. Maybe you decide there’s nothing you can do about a situation, and so you allow someone else to step in. Maybe you even decide it’s about you, and not them!
Telling the truth is about speaking your truth. You can learn to speak your truth kindly and with a sense of connection to others. You don’t have to speak your truth and expect the matter to be solved. When you “speak your truth,” you may be opening the door to a long process – and to connecting deeper.
Practice “telling the truth” with simple things. Tell the truth to yourself, for example. Stop telling yourself that your life is “their problem,” and take responsibility for yourself, for your feelings, your choices, your decisions, your reactions. To “tell the truth” is to be empowered.
When you are empowered, you stand up straight, and you allow others that privilege.
“Tell the truth” can change the communities we live in, one truth at a time, one relationship at a time.