It sounds peaceful: ‘lovingly speak your truth’. It sounds like something I want to start doing from now on and forever. But what is it really and what makes it challenging?
Speaking your truth is not easy but is important in every relationship; also the relationship we have with ourselves. It can be done in different ways. When we’re having an argument and maybe feel hurt, the chances are high that you will say things in an unhelpful way. Instead of bringing you closer to the other person, or make yourself heard, you create distance and misunderstanding.
To lovingly speak your truth, it helps when you understand what’s going on inside of you. Without that insight, it is more likely that you react in an emotional way. In fact, your inner child takes over and emotions from a very young you come back to the surface.
If you can, choose a moment that you don’t feel too emotional. Remind yourself that the other person involved just wants to be loved and appreciated, like you do. Tell the other how his or her behavior makes you feel. The most important and most difficult part in this is that you do not judge or blame. So instead of “You’re so annoying when you say that“, you could try “When you say that, I think you disagree with what I have done. And I feel frustrated, because I don’t know what I can do different”.
You can help the other person further by telling what behavior would help you. Be specific. Why is this important to you? What unmet needs made you react in an emotional way? This can be scary, because you have to show vulnerability. “It would help me when you tell me what I can do to help you. I’m afraid to disappoint you, it makes me feel insecure”.
In my sessions I have seen many ‘aha’ moments, when clients suddenly realize what makes them react to situations. Like the session with Maria. She felt less attracted to her husband. He had gained some weight, he went through some work issues and she felt more distance between them.
What Maria learned from her inner child
When I invited her to meet her inner child, she found herself in a stable with her horse. She had taken care of this horse for a long time, with all her heart. The horse had a difficult history and was not easy to ride. She put her heart and soul in it and the horse transformed into a well-mannered horse. But then someone came to buy it. She was now in the stables knowing she had to say goodbye. And it felt that she had done wrong. If she would not have taken care of it so well, the buyer wouldn’t be here now. It was her fault that the horse had to go. Her love was dangerous, it broke what was beautiful.
Lift emotional weight
In the session we could make the little Maria understand that she had done brilliantly. And that her love had made the horse happy again. And even though they would be separated, she had been able to give the horse happiness. I could see the energy change in the adult Maria sitting in front of me. After lifting this emotional weight, Maria could visualize her dream situation very well.
A few day later she let me know that the relationship between her and her husband had dramatically improved. She could open herself for love so much easier, now that she had let go of the belief that her love was dangerous. Seeing her husband struggle had made her insecure before, because she was afraid that her love would do him harm. But now, without this belief, she could respond to him in a loving way. Lovingly speak her truth, without her emotions getting in the way.
Maria is fictional name.