A Truth We Don't Talk About

There’s something we don’t talk about much.

Sometimes, it doesn’t feel powerful to speak our truth.

Let’s say we call out bigoted comments at a party, stand up to our boss, push back against unkind actions in front of friends - we speak truth to power.

The movies tell us we’ll be met with a swell of triumphant orchestral music and a standing ovation. We’ll feel heroic, the victor atop her mountain.

Except, what can often happen is we’re met with silence, blank stares, or turned backs.

We can sink into deep, messy uncertainty. Was it worth it? Did we stir the waters too much? Should we have just kept our mouth shut?

That uncertainty is so human. We’re creatures of connection, and the response we got feels like we’ve jeopardized our connection.

But here’s the thing: we don’t speak our truth for the response to it. We speak our truth because if we don’t speak it, it’s not our truth. It’s just our nice idea. Speaking our truth affirms that it does matter to us, is worth not diminishing ourselves for.

Of course we want people to hear us, acknowledge us, respect us, change their behavior. Yet if we only raise our voice for that, so easily we can end up saying what we think others want to hear, not what we are called to say.

It is powerful to speak our truth. But sometimes it doesn’t feel powerful to do something powerful. Sometimes it feels uncomfortable, deeply uncomfortable.

A feeling and reality are not the same, though. The feeling is sprawling and cluttered discomfort. The reality is we respected our integrity. We chose to stand taller when it would have been safer to shrink down.

So while our head may be whirling, let’s hold it high. We chose our truth over fitting in. And though it may not feel it in the moment, that’s a damn powerful thing to do.

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Courage BoostsCaitie Whelan