Tuesday, September 13, 2011
It hovers between two people in a bed at night, invisible, but thick and heavy as a blanket. It works its way between lovers, strangers, friends, pushing them apart. It is a silent killer. It is what keeps us from expressing interest in a stranger, stops us from saying the words that will keep our relationships together, and leaves us feeling stifled, isolated, misunderstood, and alone
It is the Unsaid.
Fortunately, the Unsaid has a weakness. That weakness is the Truth.
All we need to do is speak it.
Telling the truth isn’t always as easy as it appears on the surface. The Unsaid has allies: Well-meaning people who believe that you don’t talk about certain things. The fear of how people will react if they knew what we were really thinking or feeling. Those who disguise cruelty as honesty, who claim they’re just being truthful when really they are just out to hurt.
But we can do it.
We are told growing up, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.“ There’s nothing wrong with weighing our words, but when silence is the default option, we often end up stifling ourselves. There comes a point where we must learn to speak our hearts with confidence.
Times like this I am grateful for my background in stand-up comedy. It taught me to speak without censoring myself, to not be afraid of saying the wrong thing. I learned it is better to say the wrong thing than nothing. Because at least you learn from saying the wrong thing.
The secret to being honest and open while still minimizing hurting others is to speak only for ourselves. Instead of saying, “Why do you always make me angry?” try saying, “I’m angry right now.” For more ’technical tips’ on speaking honestly, check out the post on self-disclosure.
The shadows cast by the Unsaid are long, dark, and suffocating. Fortunately, with the truth at our side, all we have to do is open our hearts and our mouths and turn on the light.
For the rest of the week, practice saying what’s on your mind out loud. You get bonus points if other people are around and within earshot. What happens when you express yourself more honestly?
-May All Beings Be Sexy
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