UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young
• Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly. – Mahatma Gandhi
Something that is really coming up for many of my clients lately is the extent to which they do not, or cannot, speak their truth. If we are not being true to ourselves, we are not being authentic. And if we are not being authentic, we are not living the life we came here to live.
What does it mean to speak one’s truth? It does not mean making sure everyone knows your opinion on every issue. It is not about being adversarial. It is actually more about our relationship with ourselves than with others.
When both our words and actions are in alignment with what is in our hearts, we are being in our truth. When we stay silent or act against what we know to be true, we are betraying ourselves.
This issue is a challenge when we grow up in a culture that values conformity over individualism, emphasizes the “right” answer rather than our answer and trains us to seek approval. It could be that much of the stress and depression in our culture is a result of people being in the wrong place or with the wrong people.
The following story may or may not be true, but it is a great metaphor. It states that the reason some pilots disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle was because they mistook a string of islands for the Florida Keys and so concluded that their instrument panels must be wrong. Consequently, they flew out to sea instead of to their original destination, ran out of fuel and went down.
I tell my clients this is what happens when we navigate our lives on the basis of what we see “out there” rather than trusting our own inner “instrument panel.” Examples could be as simple as accepting an invitation when you really don’t want to go, doing things you do not want to do out of a sense of obligation and generally saying “yes” with your mouth when the rest of your body-mind is saying “no.” It can be staying in a job or relationship that is not good for you or maintaining habits you know are harmful.
Speaking our truth is not merely the best thing for our own individual evolution, but also for our evolution as a society or species. If we see a situation that is unjust or out of integrity and we say nothing, we are condoning it. It may feel risky to speak up against something or to challenge the majority. However, if those among us who see something wrong only keep it to ourselves or gossip about it rather than speaking up or taking action, we all stay stuck.
Why it is that being in our truth is so hard? It is because ego wants everyone to like us and it doesn’t want anyone to be mad at us. So we must think about why we are here. Are we here to grow in wisdom and to contribute our highest knowing and insight to move the group forward? Or are we here to “fit in” and gain the approval of the common denominator.
If we were all meant to be the same, Creator could have saved a lot of time and effort by just making us all look the same. The fact that each of us has a different face is our first clue that we were designed to bring the uniqueness of our being to this wondrous journey we just happen to be sharing together.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, Deep Powerful Change hypnosis CDs and new Creating Healthy Relationships series, visit www.gwen.ca. See display ad this issue.