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The Courage It Takes to Speak Up

I uncovered a very powerful and quite destructive pattern of mine when it comes to relationships. The more I have shared my revelation of this pattern with my friends, the more I hear how they, too, relate to it. The pattern goes a little something like this:

I’m conversing with a friend, family member, coworker or romantic partner. Something is said which surfaces something that’s hard for me to own and share with this person. I withhold the truth and the truth goes unspoken. Over time, I withhold another truth and that truth goes unspoken, too. Over more time, I withhold yet another truth and that truth goes unspoken, joining the emerging pile of unspoken truths. As a result of this withholding, I start to back away from the relationship, feeling misunderstood, unheard and unseen. I start to tell myself stories that makes the other person the “bad guy” for not coming through for me the way I want them to. I start to disconnect emotionally and energetically. Then I back away from the relationship entirely, often blaming the other person and losing the relationship all together.

This pattern has been around since I learned that my truth – which is usually of an emotional nature - was inconvenient and/or unwelcomed. “Don’t rock the boat,” my overprotective ego voice says to me. “Why would you interrupt the moment and inconvenience everyone here with your feelings? Is speaking this feeling out loud really worth the [negative] reaction you’re going to get from them? Better keep it to yourself.”

And then it hit me: the sadness. The sadness of all the people from whom I have detached emotionally, leaving the relationship in the dust. These are the people who I unintentionally hurt with my unconscious, built-in defense mechanism that allowed me to leave before they could leave me first.

After several more tears and sinking pits in my stomach, I chose own my truth in ways that I never knew I could before.

Within a 24-hour timeframe of uncovering and seeing this pattern for what it truly was (an unconscious pattern), I had three beautiful, courageous and incredibly loving conversations, speaking my truth with friends and family members whereas I hadn’t had the courage to do so before.

In choosing to communicate my truth with these amazing people in my world, I chose something important: I chose ME.

I decided that my truth was important, regardless of the other person’s experience of it. Regardless of the response I might receive, it was simply another conversation to be had. And because I keep incredibly loving people close to me, I was received with nothing but massive love, deep respect, and true appreciation for speaking my truth and sharing my heart with them. I did the best I could. It all played out exactly as it was meant to. I have deep gratitude to myself in questing, and in daring to live with my heart open.

Follow Krystal on Twitter at @Krystal_Brandt

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