"Some musicians cuss at home /
But scared to use profanity when upon the microphone /
Yeah, they want reality, but you will hear none"
- N.W.A., Express Yourself
I've been thinking a lot about how important it is to say what you mean - in every conversation, every kind of relationship - and how critical the expression of our Authentic Self is to preventing suffering.
When we compromise on saying what we need, or hold back on sharing what we feel because we are afraid of how someone will respond, we sacrifice our own Power. We deny the validity of our thoughts and feelings. We effectively choose Fear over our own Truth.
We do this enough times in the workplace, or with romantic partners, friends, family, etc., and we may feel like we don't even know what we think, feel, and believe anymore because we have so blocked ourselves from expressing our true experience of life.
This kind of internal conflict can create energetic blocks in self-expression that carry over into other areas of our lives, causing emotional pain to ourselves and people around us, and can even result in physical health challenges.
As humans we all desire to be seen, heard, and mirrored by another. Listening empathically is a critical life skill and business tool. Yet, if we don't engage in our own Right Speech and support our self-empowerment by speaking our truth, how can we imagine deep listening to another's?
A vulnerable conversation with "real talk" costs far less that the potential damage of holding back or misaligning one's speech. When we connect to the truth of who we are, how we feel, and what we know in that given moment - and share that authentically - it frees others to do the same.
A space for truly connected, authentic exchange can occur.
And in that space, the opportunity for true belonging.