Cindie Chavez – ©2018
When was the last time you felt angry, or jealous, or disappointed?
I ask because those are some of the feelings that most of us dislike, and many times we prefer not to even admit (even to ourselves!) that we are experiencing such uncomfortable feelings. We don’t want to feel them, let alone communicate about them to someone else.
I remember an incident a few years back where I felt very disappointed. I had received an email asking me what I thought about the final product of a project to which I had contributed. I remember struggling with the reply. I had expended quite a bit of time and energy making sure that my contribution was high quality. I was dreaming of an amazing end product, but my assessment was that the final product just wasn’t as good as it could have been. I started to just reply that, “Yes, I saw the final product and it looked great!” – But that wasn’t the truth. I was disappointed with the final product, and with my experience overall.
I was discussing it with a friend, explaining my how disappointed I was and how I was struggling to know what to say in reply to the email and he asked me, “Why don’t you just say that? Say that you are disappointed?”
I remember bursting out laughing because he was calling me out in such an obvious way. I like to think that my entire life and practice revolves around authenticity, emotions, feelings, and…yes, vulnerability, and yet here I was struggling with the idea of just telling the truth about my experience. Why? Because sometimes it just seems like it would be easier to “be nice.” But in the long run, it isn’t, because it isn’t real. And as soon as we stop being real things get complicated.
It’s also easy to fear that being honest might result in saying something inappropriate, but there is a remedy to that as well; be kind. Being kind is always appropriate – and it’s important to recognize that kindness and niceness are two different things. We can suppress our true feelings and emotions in the service of “being nice” but doing so isn’t beneficial in the long run to anyone, and it doesn’t lead to anything significant. However, learning how to communicate the truth of how we feel in a way that is imbued with kindness is a high-level skill worth mastering.
I have clients come to me that are angry, jealous, disappointed, hurt, and experiencing every other uncomfortable emotion you can think of, and even though they readily admit these emotions to me, they often have misgivings about communicating these feelings to others. And, I get it! – I’ve had plenty of experiences where it’s been a struggle for me to choose being open about my feelings instead of just glossing them over. It feels vulnerable to be real, and vulnerability feels scary sometimes, probably most of the time.
It is not easy to be vulnerable. And the truth is, when we are open, honest, and vulnerable, is when we are the most powerful. A “nice” reply would have been flat. An honest reply had the potential to create a conversation with depth.
I read an article once that mentioned how Celtic Warriors would go into battle naked as a strategic advantage against their opponents, and although I don’t recommend throwing off your clothes at the first sign of being upset (although who knows, in certain instances it might be a worthwhile strategy), the “nakedness” of being open about our feelings is extremely powerful.
As for the project that I felt disappointed about, I did send an honest reply. I was open about how I felt. I was objective about how my expectations were not met. I did not point fingers or blame anyone for my experience; instead I owned my feelings and said I felt truly disappointed with the end result. I related that it was an important learning opportunity for me and that I was grateful for that part. I did my best to be kind, and truthful.
I received a short, curt response – and it was still okay. I felt relieved and empowered, and I also felt every bit of resistance attached to the conversation melt away because I told the truth about my own experience. A week later I received another more thoughtful reply suggesting that perhaps we could work together in the future and work towards producing a better outcome.
In my experience, it always pays to be honest about our own feelings and emotions. As human beings we are powerful creators and our feelings are a miracle. Learning to acknowledge them, embrace them, trust them and communicate them well, and remembering to do it all with kindness is a worthy goal. Telling the naked truth in a way that is kind is a powerful skill worth mastering.
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONLIGHT™ – A Course in Manifesting Love and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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