Amrita had loved this man for almost a decade. They were friends since their early 20’s and while there was a bit of an age gap and the fact that she was a single mother now, they had incredible chemistry. She knew he felt it too. She poured her heart out to her friends but never told him. When she came to me 3 months before he was due to get married to someone else, she broke down and sobbed, feeling helpless and hopeless. Her own judgment of herself, a massive fear of being rejected by him or the friendship being strained stopped her from expressing her truth to him. We dove into what would she stand to lose if she never told him and explored the opposite, what would she stand to lose if she expressed her truth.
We are unable to discern the difference between expressing what is our heart’s deepest desire and using the desire to levy an expectation at someone. Speaking our truth is simply expressing the desire. So, when I discussed this difference with her, she put it down in her own words. “So, I love you Shirish and I would love to spend the rest of my life with you is my heart’s deepest desire and my truth?”. And being afraid of saying exactly what I want to say and hoping and waiting he says it or distancing myself from him now that he is getting married and not being friends so much after he is married are all forms of expectations being unmet? I nodded. She looked stumped. “But I am so afraid to say this only! That I love him. What if he does not say it back?” She cried. This was it. I told her. This is expectation being levied. Then she got it. “Ooooohhhh! so my job is to simply just say it? Like this is it? Wow. Ok. wow…. that feels strangely lighter and weird”. I could see her body relax for the first time and breathe.
There is so much focus on what volley will be returned to us and how we will or won’t be able to manage that, that our entire focus shifts from our expression to their expression. We are no longer in our own business. We are now dictating how the other should conduct their business so we are saved of embarrassment or shame or guilt or rejection. We are obsessed with what they feel, say and do. When the focus ought to be nowhere else but here. So, using Amrita’s example again, she finally did go to Shirish and simply told him that she’s loved him for as long as she can remember and would like to be with him for the rest of her life. She also acknowledged that she came with a little daughter for whom she would do anything, but she was choosing to do this for herself for the first time in her life. She told him she is leaving it to him what he chooses to do with this new information in his life. Three weeks later, Shirish met with her and thanked her for sharing herself so honestly and giving him the freedom to choose. It brought him to trust what truth he had been hiding. That he wanted to stand up against his father’s demand to marry his current fiancée as the 2 families could then get into the business. He didn’t want to do this. But felt compelled as an obedient son. In those 3 weeks, he had called off the wedding and opened up to his father about what he felt. Shirish and Amrita got married a year ago.
The truth shall set you free. Free of bondage to our fears. Free of expecting from others and levying expectations at others. Truth has a capacity to be simple, straight and keeping things real. It does not waste time, energy and effort. It is efficient and direct. It may seem like it hurts, but that is simply because we don’t want to be unearthed. We don’t want to be found out. We don’t want our own dramas exposed. We don’t want our secrets found out. We are deeply ashamed of what we carry within us that even though the truth has the capacity to set us free, we don’t dive in because we are afraid most of ourselves.
Truth does not hurt unlike what many feels. We hurt ourselves by not being honest with ourselves. The more we hide, the more we hurt. Expressing and standing in our truth can be one of the most liberating experiences. It gives us power, strength and an indestructibility that was unknown to us before. Amrita found her strength to speak up and leave, let him then choose and not wait around for him. She moved on in her life. Letting go of expectations, she fell back into her own business. Letting him manage his. When I asked her how she felt after expressing her truth to him, she told me she felt powerful and happy. And she did not expect to feel that way at all. I know this one too well.
The more I’ve tried to hide my feelings and emotions, the less empowered I felt. It felt like I was always at the effect of others. Weak, easily swayed, easily controlled and manipulated by others. The moment I said “eff it” and choose to stand in my truth, all this fell away. I felt a strange kind of power. The kind that comes from knowing that nothing and no one can manipulate you or control you as you have no fear anymore. The truth will truly set you free of it all.
Speaking your truth and letting go are synonymous. One cannot be without the other. When the truth is expressed, letting go is a by-product. Hence the setting free happens. It’s akin to setting a burden down. Lying to ourselves is a great disservice to us. We keep ourselves burdened, confused, lost, hopeless, fearful and ashamed. And all our choices are made in avoidance of the truth coming out. Just writing this feels so heavy. Maybe reading it does too. Imagine what you do to yourself when you live this every day.
There’s an acquaintance who recently acknowledged to herself that she is homosexual. She is in her early 30’s and the pressure to get married has begun at home. She has not come out to anyone other than me and another 2 school friends of hers. She is petrified that if she ever told her parents, they would be devastated. She desperately wants to make them happy as they’ve all had hardships as a family. Being torn between her truth to come out to the world and making her parents happy has driven her almost to depression. But as long as she lies to herself and them, there is no way out. Every choice she makes other than standing in her truth will remain a burden in some form. There will always be lying, manipulation and needing to keep control so that she is never found out. This a fearful living. If she chooses to speak her truth and have faith that every parent finally wants their child to be happy, and holds that as her vision, this conflict will continue. Telling them that this is who she really is, this is her life and this is what she wants to do with it and is not seeking approval from them, but simply letting them know the truth about her as she would rather tell them the truth than try to manipulate them to keep them happy can let everyone off the hook. They may be devastated for a while as they will have to face their own shame, guilt and things they hide from. Where they have not had the strength to stand in their own truth against the prying eyes of society, they may now get the chance to do that.
Ultimately, the choice lies in the hands of others. Speaking our truth and setting ourselves free can create possibilities for others to do the same if they have an interest in it. Sometimes the consequences maybe distance and time apart from loved ones, but your two best friends will remain freedom and truth. If these loved ones are meant to come around and accept you for who you are along with your truth, then that will happen and it will lay the foundation for an even deeper and stronger bond between you as now there is nothing to hide and no secrets. If your truth is unacceptable, then you get to live with a clear conscience that you did the right thing by choosing never to lie, manipulate and control the people you love the most. That you would rather speak the truth and lose them than have them in your life with a pack of lies, fear and shame.
The choice is always yours as well. Truth isn’t about oh I can be vicious and mean or I can be this and that. It’s about acknowledging that most uncomfortable part of who you are and standing and say it so and also saying that yes, I am trying to change this too as I evolve. Truth accompanied by strength or courage can take you miles towards a peaceful self, with or without people. You will learn that even though your family loves you the most, they are still human beings with their own shadows and things they need to work through. You can be a shining beacon of truth, freedom, courage and strength for them or you can pander to their egos and keep them at the same level of living they are used to. You can open them up to astounding possibilities of joy or you can keep them where they will always be at the effect of other people in their life. You learn to get self-reliant and have so much more faith in yourself when you stand for your own truth. When Vibing at this level, you will lose people. And you will gain new ones who value the same things you value. Truth, freedom and honouring oneself. You may be able to cut the straining and abusive bonds with some people with your penchant for truth. And those are exactly the people you can do without. Sometimes we are blinded by duty towards others, other times by the sheer number of years we have known some people or the fact that may have done some things for us. We don’t want to seem ungrateful to them. But in lack of recognition and acknowledgement that our truth is that we don’t desire to have this bond with them any longer, we are keeping ourselves are the effect of them. We will remain to be manipulated by them. And there’s never any freedom in that.
It really boils down to what you want your life to be. Burdensome and at the effect of everyone? Or inspiring and free that gifts everyone possibility, choice, awareness, freedom and space? Knowing fully well that choosing the same as you lie in their hands and you are ok with whatever it is, they choose. Truth can be searing in a moment, but its sweetness is recognized only in living it.