It can be frightening to say what you feel.
Just think about it…if you say what’s on your mind, what’s really in your heart, people might get upset. People close to you might even leave you. All sorts of unfavorable reactions are possible, when we say what we really think and feel.
So it seems a lot better to hold back. To insist that you’re fine when someone asks you what’s wrong, to not defend yourself when you’re being verbally attacked or wrongly accused, to not voice your opinion in the face of injustice, just seems…a whole lot safer.
That way, you can keep people happy. It’s safer to keep people happy, because then no one will be upset with you. And if no one is upset with you, then you don’t have to experience scary things.
Like getting tongue-tied and not knowing what to say in response to someone whose words are frightening you. Like people getting so angry that they leave you altogether, all alone.
If nobody leaves you, then your world as you know it stays intact. You are in control.
But, there’s a problem. (Several, actually.)
Pleasing the people doesn’t make them love you.
Your thin veneer of “control” barely contains the chaos running rampant within you.
Your solution doesn’t resolve your fear, it shelters it, begets more of it.
And your method of self-preservation is actually destroying you.
Because at the end of the day, you feel so small, microscopically small. You’ve apologized to your friend again for something you know wasn’t your fault, just to keep the peace. You’ve let your co-worker overlook you again because, never having heard your opinion, he assumes you have none. You go home once again with your jaw clenched tight and your imagination running loose about what you’d really say if you had one more shot, if you could go back and redo the whole situation one more time. (You always think of the right thing to say after the fact.)
Don’t you feel it eating away at you, every single time?
You cannot change anything that has happened to you. But those lost, long-eaten parts of yourself can absolutely be restored, or at least rebuilt.
All you have to do is open your own mouth.
Yes, speaking your mind is risky; it can invite ridicule and disdain. Speaking your heart can freeze the blood that runs through it; you may find that those you love the most, on whom you’ve leaned like large and dependable stones, will break from you and blow away like twigs in the wind.
In their wake may be your greatest fear staring you in the face: the great void. A world broken apart, with nothing and no one there to validate you, to confirm that yes, you do matter.
Except for one person. You.
It’s just you, and your words now. Make them your friends. Make the words you speak to yourself the best you’ve ever spoken — kinder, more encouraging, more loving than they’ve ever been before.
Turn those words into bricks, the building blocks of your brand-new home, filled with all of the love the old you thought you could squeeze out of others. Make it stronger than the storms of your anxiety.
Rebuild the house of your self-esteem. Here, you will find the confidence to speak your truth.
Even the hard truth can be spoken with a soft word. And the kinder the words you speak to yourself, the kinder the words you speak to others.
People may leave, but you no longer need them. And the right people will show up when you, and they, are ready.
What you need now, right now, is the love that you speak to yourself.
Meet Whitney Joy
My name is Whitney, and I’m delighted to be one of the writers here at Holistic Ebony. I am 29 years old, live in California and am currently working in the education field, but my passion lies in holistic health – especially food/nutrition, spirituality and self-image. I’m excited (and a little nervous) to be able to explore and share my passion for these topics with you on this wonderful site! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.