It can be scary to tell our partner how we really feel sometimes. Out of politeness, embarrassment, shyness, avoidance, or just not wanting to hurt their feelings, we can find ourselves not sharing our innermost feelings. We may find ourselves inhibiting and censoring our truest, deepest worries and fears with the people we love the most. And, our relationships will suffer for it - from the lack of depth, from lack of real connection, and from the shear superficiality of inauthenticity.
Here is a spiritual rule of thumb: the more someone matters to you, the more you owe them your Truth.
But, what is our truth?
Truth is how you actually feel. Not how you are supposed to feel. Not what society says you should feel, or how you think you should feel. It is what you do feel - in your heart. For in our hearts, we all know what those truths are.
When I am talking with a client and they tell me how they really feel, I will ask them if they have shared this with their partner, and invariably they will say, "Well, I can't say that, can I?"
And I answer: Yes, of course you can.
And you need to.
If you want your relationship to deepen and grow, then you have to trust the love that the relationship is built on. You need to bet on love. Even, in the worse case scenario, if you discover that the relationship cannot handle deeper feelings, then that's good information to know. It tells you something of the depth and durability of the love. So, you really have nothing to lose in finding this out. And, potentially, everything to gain.
But how do we speak these fragile vulnerabilities, these hurts and pains, when our fear is that if we do, it will just make things worse?
This brings us to another spiritual principle, which is: the truth will make you free. Truth is a precious commodity. Your innocent and uncensored truth, the truth of your heart, is valuable to your relationship. By telling the truth to your partner, you are opening up the possibility for more intimacy in your relationship.
So often, this can be difficult. We can be afraid to say the most important things in our heart for fear of being rejected or abandoned. We can be afraid that they will never understand.
How you share your truth is a delicate matter. People's feelings can and do get hurt. It's hard to hear that there may be a difference of opinion or a problem. But not sharing your truth doesn't allow anything to change at all.
So, how do you share your feelings without hurting, scaring, or upsetting your partner?
The answer is by expressing your truth in vulnerability.
You need to be vulnerable so your partner can hear you. Otherwise, they likely will feel attacked, disparaged, unvalued, belittled, criticized, and mostly, unloved.
So, how we say it really MATTERS. I'm not saying you should be manipulative or strategic - I mean the opposite, in fact. I am saying to speak your vulnerable truth without righteousness or design, without tactic or need to win, but simply, to speak your unguarded, vulnerable, ever-loving truth.
Which means, speak your truth with love.
- Because truth by itself can be brutal and without mercy.
- And, love by itself can be too tolerant, ambiguous, and possibly codependent.
When you put these two principles together, truth plus love, you have power. Now your truth makes an arrow that pierces through, to the heart of the matter - safely - because it is founded on love. You then are gifting your partner with loving truth. It's like lancing a wound. Now, it can heal.
This is not so easy to do. It takes courage - heart courage - partly because we have to first face our own demons and realize what we really feel, and how we really feel. We must take ourselves into our internal laboratory and be really, really honest with ourselves. By doing this, we are taking responsibility for what our own truth is, without blaming, without harming, and without rancor. It is simply how we feel.
By looking at ourselves first - with compassion - we can begin to heal our lives and everyone in our lives.
Because from a spiritual perspective, when one person gets it, everyone can get it.
We all benefit from your inner awareness. We are all healed by truth. And, the truth will make us all free.
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION - www.DianaLang.com