I sit up straighter, continue to breathe, and then ask myself in that meditative state, "Why are you carrying a grievance?" And the answer is that something happened, and the outcome was not what I wanted, and I regret not speaking up.
Even when speaking the truth is hard and necessary, I can hold back the truth because I don't want to hurt or embarrass someone or don't want to deal with the reaction, I assume I'll get and have to deal with.
When you speak, it's an exchange; someone has the opportunity to respond. Now I have to listen to what somebody else has to say that I've already judged as incapable of receiving the truth.
I've come to accept that the truth can hurt when it hits a nerve. However, the truth, which I'm defining here as the facts of the matter, can also spark exceptional performance, deepen relationships, and transform righteousness into togetherness. Unfortunately, it can also produce the standard denial tactics of immediate blame and defensiveness. Compassion comes with the realization that we use those tactics too, and then we shake off the guilt that blaming works diligently to create because it doesn't help fix the situation, solve the problem, or build team unity.
What can you do? You can take a breath and remember that you don't have to stop loving to start what you think will be a hard conversation. When you add love to the truth, it's profound. Most people espouse their opinions and don't differentiate the unarguable facts from their judgment about what happened. Differentiate first, then speak about what happened with love. Love also allows you to see your connection to what happened.
Love yourself enough to know that sometimes you fail. And sometimes you fail big! If you can't love your mistakes, then you can only love yourself when you're perfect. And no one is perfect.
Love your imperfections. You'll find that you can own your failures even when they cost you esteem, money, or reputation. The way out of failure is to learn from it rather than ignoring the truth of what happened. Be generous with your love. Love yourself and others, love your wins, and also your losses.
Love heals. The way to reconcile with love is to take 100% accountability for what happened, and your response to what happened. I have a test called the highest good. I put my words and actions through that test to determine if it will move the person, business, or me forward. If it does, I speak. If it doesn't pass the test, I change my words to reflect greater kindness. It's simple. I remove the judgmental words, keep the truth of the matter, and speak with compassion. Telling the truth with love is a skill worth developing. It will save you countless hours of regret.
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis