By Juliet Tang,
Have you ever felt there is a ball of words stuck in your throat that you have to swallow hard to keep it down? What about those times when you are dying to say “no” but “yes” comes out, and you beat yourself up afterwards? Do you often feel like a doormat, a victim, or someone who has been taken advantage of?
If this sounds like you (even occasionally), you are not alone. Many of us hold onto the belief that it is not socially acceptable for us to speak our truths because we may offend others, get into uncomfortable confrontations or be viewed as a mean person that no one will like. As a result, we are living under an internalized false projection launched at us from society that scripts what we should and shouldn’t be saying and doing, and imprisoning ourselves in a tiny cage of self-directed anger, frustration and powerlessness.
What is it costing you?
1. Emotional Health
One of the most common emotions after we give away our power is anger. It can be anger toward the world, the people who “did” this to us, but essentially, it is anger toward ourselves. My job when I worked under two manipulative bosses was the epitome of my powerlessness. During those ten years, no matter how much abuse was thrown in my direction, I stayed silent despite the fact I had much to say and even more to express.
I alternated between depression, anger/rage, numbness and despair. I told myself I had to bite my tongue in order to not lose a job I despised because I had to make a living. And I paid for my living with the highest betrayal I could commit – the betrayal of my own soul and inner peace. This was one of the countless examples in my life when I sacrificed my emotional health because I was afraid to speak up.
I always thought the negative emotions I felt were signs and proof that life is broken and we have no free will. I used that story to justify my victim identity which robbed me of any inner peace I was looking for. It was not after my awakening and much self-healing that I realized when we consciously or unconsciously give away our power, it is not the external people or events, but the internal knowing on the deepest level that we have waivered from our own authenticity and worth that causes the excruciating emotional pain and turmoil.
Our emotional state is a crucial component of our internal guidance system, or intuition, and that is because our higher self always knows what is best for us at any given situation and whether our thoughts, words and actions are in alignment with our highest truths about ourselves. We can fool others into thinking we are content with our choices of silence and passivity, but we cannot lie about how we feel within ourselves and by continuing the self-sabotaging behaviors, our emotions will find ways to force us to notice them until we live in a state of perpetual agitation, depression and stress.
2. Physical Health
Unsurprisingly, my physical health reflected my internal powerlessness and for someone my age with a fairly clean bill of health, I was plagued with constant sicknesses. They varied from common colds and thyroid disorders to mystery illnesses that no doctor was able to diagnose. Every time when I had a cold, my throat was most affected and I would go on for days cough my lungs out without being able to speak. After years of monthly tonsillitis and countless packs of antibiotics, I was forced to undergo a tonsillectomy in my late 20’s. Chronic neuralgia and insomnia dominated my life (I identified myself as an insomniac for 14 years) and I had to go to the pharmacy on a monthly basis to fill my many bottles of medications.
Looking back, it only makes sense that my fear of speaking up resulted in years of painful tonsillitis along with the other conditions. How badly my higher self wanted me to cough out those words that I kept on swallowing! When we do not allow ourselves to process, release and integrate the emotions behind our powerlessness and trauma, or worse, when we repress them by brushing to the side, that energy stays trapped in the body and forms blockages that eventually become emotional and physical illnesses.
For optimal health, life force energy must be flowing freely in the body and into our major and minor chakras (energy centers) so it can then be transmuted into energy of different frequencies that our organs require in order to function and regenerate. The more we create energetic blockages in our bodies by committing self-betrayal, the less our organs are receiving the vital life force energy they need to support us.
The good news is our bodies are incredibly resilient and everything is reversible! Our compromised physical health is again part of our guidance system that is alerting us we are compromising who we are, and subjecting our own authority and truths to others’ validations. The only way for us to heal physically is to first heal the emotional wounds and shift our belief system.
3. We Receive More of the Same
Living in a feedback system, we can always count on life to give back to us everything we put out. So when the theme of inauthenticity is running behind every choice we make, you can bet life will duplicate and send us more powerless scenarios until we do the work to release that theme. In my case, on top of the abusive bosses, I also had abusive relationships, friends who did not respect my boundaries, random strangers who screamed in my face, etc.
I used to view this as a punishment until my higher self stepped in during my self-healing process and began working with me to integrate every powerless story I held onto for many years. Some call this shadow work and I can only say from experience of working with my coach and coaching others that it is a rather long process with many layers. For as long as the energy of every story of victimhood stays within us, that is our predominant vibration which becomes a magnet for more of the same. This is the only reason why many of us experience the same patterns, the same types of relationships and the same unfavorable circumstances in life over and over as if we are living in the movie Groundhog Day.
How do we speak our truths?
1. Be Honest and Turn it Around
This method loosely resembles The Work introduced by Bryon Katie. This is based on the understanding that life is nothing but a giant mirror because our perception literally makes up our own realities, so every time when we believe others will think or feel about us a certain way, it is really our own thoughts about ourselves that are being projected outward and reflected back to us.
In the beginning of my journey of learning to speak up, I had to make a commitment to sit with the excuses I made for my self-sabotaging behavior and be very honest with myself. I made a list of all the stories of why I could not honor my truths and some of the stories ranged from “I will offend them and they will judge me” to “I need their validation so I can fit in and feel good about myself.”
Whatever the reasons were and however ridiculous they may sound to others, I placed them on a piece of paper and turned them around one by one by removing “others” from my stories so that only I remained (since ultimately, there is only One and what we believe what others think about us still come from our own heads). My stories of why I constantly handed away my power became “I will offend myself and I will judge me,” “I need my validation so I can fit in and feel good about myself,” “I will betray my feelings,” etc.
This is an eye opening process because once we peel away the multiple layers of pretense, we are left with the very raw reality of how little love and respect we give to ourselves. It then becomes clear that we are the ones who cannot accept and embrace ourselves and we are projecting it onto others to make it easier for us to deal with the self-rejection. For as long as we can blame someone or something, we are not responsible for facing, or changing these painful truths of how we feel about ourselves.
This realization marks the beginning of self healing.
2. Get Creative
There are many ways to speak up and it does not always mean we need to verbalize our thoughts to those who have caused us to feel a certain way. It also does not mean to suddenly blow up in front of someone which really achieves nothing. The ultimate and the only goal of speaking our truths is for us to loosen up and release that energy that has been bottled up so healing and self-empowerment can begin taking place.
If you do choose to speak to the person, I find it helpful to release any expectation of specific outcomes and just focus on allowing the energy to flow out in an organic way. The point of this entire exercise is not to demand an apology (though it can be a byproduct), get even or vindictive with an eye for an eye attitude, or insult the person, it is for you to practice staying in your vibration, take your power back and take responsibility over your life.
Likewise, if it is not physically possible to communicate with the person, I love the idea of writing a letter with everything you wish to say without sending the letter out. This is a safe and powerful way to get the energy off of your chest. Equally effective is the method of finding a quiet place, pretending the person is in front of you and speaking out loud to them (you can always say it silently in your head but I find speaking up works much better to move the energy). You can imagine them saying a few things back to you if you wish. It is your imagination and you are in control of what happens. Again, keep in mind you are doing this for yourself for the empowerment you are looking for rather than a payback.
Afterwards, allow yourself to sit with the emotions that are surfacing, and give them the attention and non-judgmental space they need to be processed for as long as it takes.
3. Reach Out and Empower Others
This is my favorite method. Often times when we are in a compromising position, we believe we are the only ones who are powerless and that thought makes us feel more alienated in the hole we dig ourselves into. The truth is, we live in a world where most people are not comfortable in their own skins. I know many successful coaches and thought leaders with killer profiles who are struggling with the exact same things everyone else is struggling with! It doesn’t make us weak, it only makes us human.
I was once in an online program that was supposed to be completed within a certain timeframe. For whatever reasons, there were lots of delays in the deliverance of teaching material and the director was full of charming excuses. The longer it went on, the more powerless I felt and the more of a rut I got into. No matter how many emails I sent to the people in charge, nothing happened.
One day, a strong intuition occurred that the other participants (there was no communication between participants so no one knew what others were going through) were also experiencing the same disempowerment and we must work together as a group to create movement. My simple intention was to help myself and others out. It took me quite a while to compose a group email detailing my experience to 30 something people and I was both nervous and excited as the words I held back for a long time poured out of my fingertips. My decision to speak up instantly created an internal energetic shift that allowed me to begin taking my power back.
Within hours, I began hearing from many participants and it was interesting to note that some of them blamed themselves for the lack of communication while some feared speaking up due to possible tension. None even questioned the possibility that they were sold a program that simply did not adhere to the highest code of ethics. One by one, they began taking steps and speaking out. In less than 24 hours, there was more movement within the program than it did in one year and people began supporting each other.
It was one of the best lessons life granted me in understanding that by honoring and giving what is best for ourselves, we are also honoring and giving what is best for everyone else. Rather than believing we must compromise ourselves to offers the world integrity, love, respect and authority, why not start with ourselves and give ourselves all these things first? Once we do that, our energy inevitably becomes so contagious that others will want to do the same.
Life will always present us with endless invitations for us to step into our power and speak our truths. When we say yes to that invitation, not only we are given the chance to heal and empower ourselves, we are also extending that opportunity to others and giving them permission to release their fears and embrace their authority.
Own your power and speak your truths. You did not come here to play small and there is nothing humbling about dimming your light. There is only one of you in the universe and you are here because you have unique talents and gifts to contribute to the world. The more you can allow your authenticity to shine, the more life will bring you opportunities for you to step into your soul purpose so you can dream, expand and create with infinite possibilities.
About the author:
Juliet Tang is an intuitive life coach, spiritual mentor and medicine woman. Her work empowers those who are looking for more alignment and expansion to awaken to their power and purpose on earth, activate more love, abundance and joy in their lives, and manifest their soul’s desires using the conscious creation process.
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