Ever find it hard to speak your truth without harming yourself and others? This can be tricky. Our emotions can be strong and can lead us to express ourselves in unhelpful ways. For example we may find ourselves in a situation where we are frustrated or angry with someone or a situation, and don't know how to express how we feel wisely.
I found myself in such a situation on the weekend, where the house seemed to be getting messier and no one seemed to be picking up after themselves. I noticed my anger and was mindful of being aware not to respond in familiar unhelpful habitual ways. My unhelpful responses include to
There are 5 (or sometimes 3 or 4, depending on the source) aspects of wise speech which may be helpful here
Wise speech is ...............
1.. Well intended - What is my intention in saying this?
Yes. I wanted to get across to others that it is respectful to those we live with to clean up after ourselves (no matter who that is - family, housemates or friends). It is not helpful or respectful to myself or others to not speak this truth.
2. True - not exaggerated or out of context.
It was true the house was untidy and that others had not cleaned up after themselves on that day. It was not true that no-one ever does anything to help or that no-one ever tidies up after themselves.
3. Helpful/Necessary - is to helpful to express how I am feeling and seeing things?
Yes, it is helpful for others to know it is important to be respectful of those we live with and the space we share.
And it is also helpful for me not to get into that 'burning martyr' or 'angry nagging mother' role
4. Timely - Is this the right time to say something?
Yes, I had thought about my response I was not acting out of habit. We were all there together. It is helpful also here to state what is needed and set a realistic, respectful time limit. "I need it tidied up this instant!" - when someone is the middle of something else may not be helpful"
5. Kind - can I express it without blame, criticism or put-down?
Yes, I can speak my truth "I am feeling angry about all the mess, I don't want to blame or criticise. I want us all to show respect for ourselves and each other by cleaning up after ourselves". So lets please clean up ..........
These 5 guidelines do not mean that the other person will respond in the way you want. But they will help and you can know in your heart that you did your best with a kind intention.
Taking time to think about these 5 things before you deal with a tricky situation will help you respond from that wise spot instead of from that unhelpful habitual reaction.
If you haven't quite handled the situation as well as you could have, Regret and forgive yourself and others review the guidelines and do a 'better best' next time. Developing a new helpful habit of speaking your truth wisely takes time and practice.
It is also very helpful to think about these guidelines when you are speaking to yourself as well. Do your best to practice wise speech to yourself too.
Starting a mindfulness meditation practice is an important step in developing these helpful new thought habits which will help you to be happier and more confident. I would love to assist you to start a meditation practice with the 'Worry to Wonder ' programme.
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