What would you say if you knew you were being listened to? If you knew you were being heard? What would you say if you knew there was no one to convince of anything; no one to teach, no one to correct, no one to influence? What would you say if you knew you were right? If you knew what was truth and what was just? What would you say if you had no fear of being judged? If there was nothing to lose? And if there was nothing to gain?
We sometimes speak because we want to be heard. We sometimes speak because we want others to know what we know. We sometimes speak because we think we are right. We sometimes speak because we think others are wrong.
We sometimes speak because we want others to see the world they way we see it. We sometimes speak because we want others to understand—to understand what we know—to understand who we are.
So often, we speak because we are driven to speak. We speak because we are tired of not saying what is on our mind. We speak to get the thoughts off of our chest—to get the words out of our head.
Now and again, we speak to hear ourselves speak. Often, we don’t at first know that this is the reason. We feel the urge to talk…to speak our truth, but then, as we hear ourselves speak, we learn something. We come to know something we couldn’t absorb simply by listening to the thoughts in our mind.
There are so many reasons to speak…and so many reasons we don’t.
Sometimes we are afraid to say what we really think. We don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to be shunned or shamed or ridiculed. We don’t want to hurt others with our words; we don’t want to rock the boat or upset the apple cart. And sometimes we don’t speak because we doubt others will understand us anyway. We’ve tried before; we’ve failed before; we’ve paid the price.
Maybe we are unsure of what we have to say, so, although we feel the urge to speak, we hold back, resist, and endure the frustration of holding it in.
How often in life do we not say something to someone out of fear of changing the relationship…or losing it?
What if all of that was lifted?
Picture it. You are in a room: maybe a classroom or auditorium. The chairs are arranged in a perfect circle. There is no head; there is no lead. No one is there to learn from anyone else. No one is there to teach anyone else. No one knows something the others do not know. No one believes anything the others do not. There is no this view versus that view. There is no difference of opinion.
And yet, each is there to speak and each is there to listen…not because they have to, but because they want to.
They then hand you the baton. Each set of eyes is now upon you. There is no rush. They are not impatient. They don’t require you to speak, but they are eager to listen.
If there is nothing you must say to them, what will you say? There are no taboo subjects. Nothing is off limits. You can feel that not a shred of judgment exists in that room, just love and support.
What will you say when you are completely free to speak? What will you say when you are listened to wholeheartedly?
As I watch the calendar flip from 2020 to 2021, this is what’s on my mind. What would I say if I felt completely free to speak my mind, and yet knew deep in my heart there was nothing I was trying to accomplish through it? Free of judgment, but also free of obligation. What would I say if I spoke solely for the fun of it and letting go of purpose or meaning?
In some subjects, I know exactly what I think and what I feel. Would I share that?
In other areas, I know this much, but not that much. Would I speak anyway? Would I say, out loud, that I don’t know this, but believe in this?
Would I share my ideas? Would I share my desires? Would I tell you what I think is happening and what I hope is happening?
What if it didn’t matter if anyone was listening? How much of needing to speak is needing to be heard?
Imagine there are no minds to change, not even your own. No one is wrong, so no one needs to be corrected. Nothing is wrong, so nothing needs to be set straight. So what would you say and to whom?
– – –
The last week of the year usually feels like a lot. Old thoughts and feelings flood in or flow through. I find myself listening to old music and enjoying memories of places I’ve been: physical places and emotional places. I often feel and follow this rite of passage, knowing that January will quicken, and quickly morph into something new.
Yet this year, none of that happened. I did listen to some old songs and visit some old memories, but they didn’t feel the same…they didn’t hold any weight. They weren’t exactly empty, but the nostalgia was gone.
It doesn’t feel like any other year I can remember. The old…the past…is not weighing upon me. It is not pulling at me. It simply feels gone…done.
I do wonder if what everyone said about 12/21/2020 is true. I do wonder if we passed some threshold and moved into something new and much more significant than simply a new season and soon to be new year.
Life doesn’t feel that different than weeks ago, or months ago, but when comparing it to any number of years ago, it is decidedly different.
I am sure just about everyone is happy to see 2020 end. And I do feel optimistic about 2021. It may take a few months to settle in.
Happy New Year everyone!