Speak Your Truth

Speak your truth peacefully.  This is a great aim of Aikido in communication.  When faced with someone who is speaking what you deem to be nonsense, it’s easy to do one of two things which are totally opposite of each other, neither of which is effective or healthy.

Option A is that we get upset and attack them, thus stirring them up and breaking down communication further.  We say things we don’t mean to say and have to go back later to do damage control if it’s a friend or loved one.   If not, we have an enemy out there wounded by our words.  In so doing this, we feel like we’re standing up for ourselves, and winning the argument, but in reality we’re reacting in accordance to them, therefore putting them in charge of the outcome.   This reaction is usually followed by remorse and guilt which is then oppressed.  When oppressed, it usually sprouts up in later interactions with people (or ourselves) and comes up more violently.  It then becomes a habit and a belief, and is then just the way we deal with things in life.

Option B is performed by the passive types, and in this scenario we feel it’s best to just not say anything in fear of option A occurring.  This is usually followed by driving home later in the day wishing we had “stood up for ourselves”.  We beat ourselves up over it.  We see ourselves as weak and this is usually oppressed, sprouting up later and becoming a belief, soon becoming the way we live our lives (see option A).  Although this reaction seems totally opposite than option A, it is the same in that it is a reaction.   This reaction, too is doing the same thing which is putting them in charge of the outcome.  They have shut you up.

All is not lost though, as there is a third option which is the “aiki” way of dealing with someone giving you resistance.   Let that person talk and really study them.  Give them 100% of your attention and try to see their point of view no matter how difficult that may be.  Just because you see their point of view doesn’t mean you have to accept it as yours.  Relax your shoulders and the muscles in your face.  Focus on your breathing and control it taking long slow breaths from your abdomen, in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Find your physical center and focus on that point which is about 2 inches above your navel.  Breathe into and out of that point.  Lighten your gaze.  When you feel the most natural opening, coming from center, speak your truth peacefully, but fully.  This comes out in the essence or character of your words.  It carries forth in your intonation and body language.  It may be best to not go in direct opposition to what they say, but instead to take what they’ve said completely out of the equation and speak your truth, in a comfortable and inviting way, and usually with a smile.  Not a condescending smile, but a sincere smile.

If you do this, and they still take offense, it’s totally their deal.  In most cases, after they think about it and cool down, they’ll at least respect you for the way you handled yourself.  You’ll be able to sleep better because you’ve taken control of your presence which is all you have control over anyway.  You spoke your truth powerfully, not forcefully.  You came from a place of, “this is what I believe regardless of what anyone else thinks” not, “you’re full of s**t”.  Which one seems like the most fulfilling mindset?

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