Learning to Express: Letting the Truth Out

by Bryony, London, UK

At first I felt reckless; had I really just outed myself as a former tenderness denier?

I felt nervous about telling someone close to me about writing on this blog because I was afraid of how they’d react, and of being criticised.

But – what if I chose to stay with me while telling them about something close to my heart, focussed on my reaction and how I am, instead of getting caught up in the tangled mess of their and then our emotional reactions? I decided to test it out.

The response was a gentle ribbing, followed by an apology when, for once, I chose not to laugh it off as I normally would have done. It was an exact reflection of what I’d presented: a quick throw-away “I am going to pretend this doesn’t matter to me in case you don’t react how I want you to and then I’ll feel resentful” kind of comment.

Normally I would have sucked up the resentment and frustration I felt at ‘not being listened to’, pretended that it really wasn’t that bad, and that I just needed to get over it and get on with the day. But those feelings would have continued to lurk in the background anyway, probably resulting in a minor passive-aggressive stomp around the house.

This time I chose to act differently and to take responsibility.

  • How can I expect someone to listen to me, or understand me in the way I want to be understood, if I choose to not fully express myself in the moment?
  • Instead of squashing those feelings, what if I actually talked about them – out loud and in the moment, instead of replaying it on the cassette player in my head for the rest of the day?

It started off as a joke as I mocked the strength of my own emotions. But as I spoke I allowed myself to drop the cover-up and feel what I was trying to squash down. A few tears came out; not of rage or resentment, but of letting go and letting it out, and relief at allowing myself to feel. The person I’d been telling held me as I talked, apologised sincerely for being dismissive and then asked questions about the blog, the women’s groups, and what I got from them.

It was amazing, because I allowed it to be. I could so easily have chosen my default way to act – a dishonouring way that I have acted out a thousand times: trying to shut the feelings off or deny them, which hurts… then I carry that hurt around all day, and inflict it on others. How irresponsible!

Unexpectedly, the person I was talking to opened up and told me that they felt they could do with some of the support from these blogs and the women’s groups. They said that they’d felt jealous of the connection and so had tried to make a joke of it.

  • What if speaking my truth leads not to emotion or angst, as I fear it will, but to greater love and understanding and connection with people around me?
  • Could it be that I’m afraid of expressing myself, not because of the other person’s response, but because of my own reaction to how I was expecting them to respond?
  • If I truly loved and stayed with me, could I just accept someone else’s reaction as theirs, not mine, knowing that I don’t need to rely on a positive response to validate how I feel about myself?

I’m learning to express myself based on how I’m feeling in that moment.  To overcome the massive PR-campaign that my head goes into which instantly attempts to smother any uncomfortable feelings or emotions that I’d rather not have to deal with. To face whatever comes up, instead of bottling it up and carrying it around like a heavy weight of emotion for the rest of the world to endure. It feels lighter already.

You may also like:
Opening up (a Can of Glorious Worms) – Returning to the Truly Tender Woman Within

456 thoughts on “Learning to Express: Letting the Truth Out

  1. This is Gold Bryony – thank you! “I’m learning to express myself based on how I’m feeling in that moment. To overcome the massive PR-campaign that my head goes into which instantly attempts to smother any uncomfortable feelings or emotions that I’d rather not have to deal with. To face whatever comes up, instead of bottling it up and carrying it around like a heavy weight of emotion for the rest of the world to endure. It feels lighter already.”

  2. How often have I too held back sharing how I actually feel, out of fear that another will not understand, or make fun of me or put me down in some way, or perhaps even feel uncomfortable because of what i have shared? And yet expressing how we feel is a huge healing and opportunity for growth both for self and the other.

  3. Thank you Bryony for this straight forward blog which shares a simple experience that any one of us can relate to – this is what makes it powerful, for in its simplicity you have shown how much more deeper we can go in our relationships with ourselves and others.

  4. “What if speaking my truth leads not to emotion or angst, as I fear it will, but to greater love and understanding and connection with people around me?” Oh yes Bryony this is the way to go!!

    Love your honesty and depth of awareness here.

  5. When we are in protection, we are never truly open to expressing or sharing the truth of who we are in which we are not only dishonouring ourselves but all others also as we are forgo living our love for a lie. Being led by our hurts is what keeps us imprisoned in protection where our relationships become hindered by lies rather than inspiring each other to deepening with the truth and love of who we naturally are.

  6. “I’m learning to express myself based on how I’m feeling in that moment.” this sounds simple, but we have avoided being honest with the way we feel since childhood and so it can actually feel quite scary and daunting for us at times as we have learnt to react to how we feel, and we then express from a reaction that is neither loving or supportive and can be quite confronting.

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