I feel so blessed with the friendships that I have in my life, so many beautiful people who are traveling along the same path, completely open, giving and receiving, sharing our truths, and being witnesses to each other’s pain & struggle as well as our joy and happiness all the whilst just being together.
Recently I had an “aha” moment that rocked my world, thank you, my friend, for bearing witness!
Have you ever had that moment when you are speaking and your truth rolls off your tongue and you just look at the words hanging in the air and make a realization about yourself in that moment? I had one of those recently talking with a friend about some behaviors that were showing up in myself and people in my life. I realized that body language clearly communicated is as clear as if words had been spoken, only we don’t attend to them as we do actual words, I wonder why?
I know what just happened and I am completely aware but my unconscious behavior is to ignore the behavior, sweep it under the rug, let it roll off my shoulders as if it never happened or let it go, store it away to process later. This is unconscious behavior and there is a fear attached to it, or we have been conditioned to believe that body language, facial expressions and energy shifts are not communicated, only words. This is where so many issues arise in relationships because so much of our communication is not through words and it baffles us because it leaves so much for our minds to make up stories about rather than addressing it in the moment like we would if someone had spoken the words themselves.
Not speaking up at the risk of sounding, looking or acting in an aggressive way or being perceived as defensive. The words literally get stuck in my throat. Sometimes we are triggered by these ways of communication because of our past experiences and the pain body is triggered, unconscious behavior follows and we get stuck! Round and round it goes.
A memory flashed through my mind while having this conversation with a friend. All caught up in the moment, I realized in an instant that part of my core limiting belief system was holding me back in my communications. I had this belief that if I called behavior in the moment, I was showing up aggressive. The funny thing is the behavior that I am not acknowledging is usually passive/aggressive or communicated in a way that is not direct, its someone’s five-year-old self-reacting to something inside of them and usually has nothing to do with me, yet it does because they have projected their shit onto me and I have become activated in my own pain body and the storytelling begins.
Our mind works so unconsciously so much of the time that we don’t even know the stories that play out in our mind, triggering us into unconscious behavior and a reaction or a projection.
I am able to read energy and people so most of the time people don’t need to say it, I can feel it, I can sense it and I certainly know body language and behavior.
All that I believed all these years, suddenly fell onto the floor when I suddenly heard myself talking, and the gentle guidance of my friend, did I realize how this very behaviour of my own, not speaking up which inevitably creates stories and fiction in my mind could be changed in a moment by acknowledging its existence.
I had a recent memory of speaking my truth and setting boundaries, not in the moment but in a conversation afterward, which is normally how I proceed, and I was greeted with a positive response. This person was aware enough to see their behaviors and made a change. I was heard. I was not perceived as aggressive, I was simply speaking my truth, assertive, curious communication.
Silence makes me a target when I don’t set clear boundaries.
The memory that flooded my mind at that moment was me sitting at a boardroom table in the trailer trash we called our office with the Manager, the supervisor, and the bully. The four of us sitting around the boardroom table and she, the bully is huffing and puffing, banging things around, slamming doors, making a huge performance of coming in the door. She walked right by me on our the way inside and slammed the door in my face stomping like a 5-year-old into the trailer, rustling around making a spectacle of herself communicating clearly that she was not happy with my return to work. I had been off for three months due to a high level of stress in the workplace.
I walked into the meeting after witnessing all of this behavior, three of us waiting for her to come into the boardroom to start the meeting. The meeting was about how we were all going to work together after such turmoil. I remember saying, once I had been invited to speak, doesn’t anyone else see these blatant behaviors? They looked at each other, puddles acting as if they had no idea what I was talking about. It made me feel crazy, yet there was no mistake, this was happening! I started explaining the behaviors, stating actual truth and facts, the bully started to cry and play the victim, the manager and the supervisor told me I was being aggressive by speaking the truth, by calling the very large elephant that was rousing in the room. I was being aggressive.
The memory that raced through my mind when this realization flooded me, I felt as though I was in that very moment all over again, I felt a part of me went to another place, a deep place, something had shifted.
All of a sudden I realized that not saying things in the moment allows not only the other person to deny the truth but if you call it at the moment, they have to react or respond at that moment unable to pretend it never happened. It can be uncomfortable if they are unaware that their body language speaks loud and clear right along with their energy. One of the hardest things about speaking our truth is the honesty of the other person and their willingness to acknowledge behaviors!
My challenge has always been to speak my mind, I do weird things like when I ask for holidays, I do it kind of sheepishly like I am getting something, I hate to ask, but I need this to be flexible. Sheepishly rather than assertive. I have had this belief that I don’t want to come across too assertive, I might be viewed as aggressive. With this core limiting belief fully intact, not being able to speak my truth by calling people on intuition, energy, and body language, allows others to see that I am not confident in myself. Thereby leaving space for more bad behavior. In other words, I teach people how to treat me. Leaving ourselves open with no boundaries creates a whole host of problems and issues just waiting to be cultivated.
It has been one of my challenges my whole life, but also the thing that has yielded the most growth. Trying to figure out, why, when I carry all this wisdom, this knowledge, the understanding of self, have I always maintained a more passive way of being? How does something so simple, get so lost. Why are we so afraid to tell the truth, to speak up and say exactly what we want and need to say. We hold it in, we let it go, we shrug it off, we store it for the next time. It’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick, the only one getting sick by not speaking the truth, is me.
This memory, this piece of the belief that I told myself at that moment, when I was a 45-year-old woman, just starting the journey of a new life speaking up for myself. It was all so new, I was learning and practicing speaking up and telling my truth, in a war zone. It was at a time in my life when I was learning, just crawling, how to make decisions and stand up for myself after leaving a relationship of 25 years where there was little room for me. I didn’t know at that time whether my behavior was assertive or aggressive because it was all so new. I believed that they were right and it stunted a part of me and my growth by deepening a core belief that I carried since childhood. People, situations, and experiences either confirm or deny our core limiting belief, this experience confirmed that if I speak up I will be viewed as aggressive.
The universe gives us the same lessons over and over again. I always thought it was until we “get” it. The truth is we will continue to get the same lessons even when we “get” it so that we can continue to practice our new awakened way of being in the world.
I wish I could describe the moment this memory and realization ran through my mind, I felt almost like I was blacking out, my mind traveled somewhere and saw it so clearly. This has been happening a lot lately.
Speaking up at the moment is the answer to the majority of relationship problems because it allows the behavior to be acknowledged in the moment and it allows the other person to respond or react, perhaps becoming aware of a behavior that they may be completely unaware of, so we help them as well as helping ourselves.
The Lessons never end; they keep on coming.
I walk through the world with a beginners mind and I continue to cultivate the person that I wish to become! I wish for you that same!
“Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice”
Kindly leave a comment or word that sums up your take away from this piece.