Have you ever said something and the minute it comes out, you are standing there, with your mouth wide open and a knot in your stomach, wishing you could take it back? I’m not talking about the accidental curse word slipping out in front of grandma or the ‘you’re going to wear that?’ retorical to the spouse or friend right before you walk out the door. I’m talking about the honest, laying it on the line, this is me and this is how my heart feels kind of stuff.
I grew up in a family that said what was on their mind, to a fault. It didn’t matter if it was insulting or hurtful or even cruel. I hated it and did my best not to follow in their footsteps. Yet when I moved south, I still had to learn to temper my tongue to a more genteel manner as I found my crass Yankee ways were getting me in to trouble.
But have we gone too far? In this time of political correctness have we went too far as a society to shy away from the truth. In conversation after conversation I have with friends I hear, “Oh, I would never tell **** that. It might hurt their feelings.” But it’s the truth and now you are both living in some fabricated reality, making decisions and taking action based on non-truths. How can that be good for anyone?
And I’m not talking about living in a world of absolutes, there’s a lot of gray out there and I live in grey. But I think we have to be honest about feelings. Where we stand. I’m in a unique position right now with my life and my divorce and I am depending very heavily on my friends and my family to be blatantly honest with me about a lot of things. I need that. I have to have it. Especially right now. They can’t be afraid to tell me that they think a decision I am making may not be the best one for me or my kids and why. Because I may have not thought of it from that perspective. I may have missed something that they are seeing. And I need those people around me who can look me in the eye and tell me with love in their hearts that I’m making a mistake and this is why.
On the flip side of that I think we all have to be real with ourselves and the people in our lives. We need to speak from the heart and sometimes from the gut. It has to be authentic. I was talking to my BFF, Cheryl (there you go sweetie, your officially blogged) about this very topic and she brought up an excellent point. When did we get so scared of being authentic? We are both so tired of holding back or being afraid to say what we really want because we are afraid of what the other person might think of us or that they may not like us or it may change things or whatever. But ya know, if we don’t say it, then we are the ones changing things because we change ourselves into something that is not true. We end up presenting a side of us that is not authentic and that does no one any good.
So whether you are on the giving end or the receiving end I think we have to get over some of our sensitivities and start being more authentic in what we say. Say it! Own it!