The other week I had an epiphany.
It was time for me to tell the truth. The real truth.
I’d been holding onto something that I needed to share. For the sake of my own sanity. And my health.
It’s ironic really.
As a Certified Life Coach it’s the last thing I’d recommend anyone do: hold onto a secret. Especially one that’s slowly eating away at you.
Like all secrets tend to do. Just as mine had been doing.
I went to sleep feeling anxious. Woke up feeling anxious. Sometimes I hardly slept at all.
And that went on for days.
It’s no surprise that I was battling a head cold at the same time, too.
My body is smaaaaaaart.
It knows that suppressing my authentic voice is just down right unhealthy.
But the anxiety I felt every time I imagined sharing the secret was paralyzing.
It kept me stuck. Afraid. Sleepless. And sick.
All clear signs that it was time to let the secret go. To cut it loose. And reclaim my authentic voice that wanted – neeeeeeded – to be heard.
The funny thing is though (and I don’t mean funny in a ha-ha sort of way. I mean in a kind of curious way) the secret, when I finally stepped back to examine it, was NOT really a secret at all.
It was just my truth. My own need for self-expression.
It wasn’t anything I needed to feel guilty or ashamed of (not that I believe ANY of us ever need to feel those).
And it certainly wasn’t going to harm me. Or anyone else for that matter.
It was just my authentic truth. About how I wanted to live my life. And design my future.
No one else’s concern really, but mine.
So then what was the big deal?
What was holding me back from expressing myself? From expressing my truth?
Why did I continue to shove my voice down? And play small around others?
Um…well I know why.
Yes, it was fear that was holding me back.
Fear of the unknown. Of what would happen if I did share my truth. With the people who might have judged me.
Those who might not have agreed with or understood my choices. Who might have gotten angry with me.
In other words, fear of the reactions from others I had absolutely no control over. That crazy kind of fear about all the “what if’s” that may or may not ever happen.
I was marinating in that fear. Almost drowning in it.
But then I had a light bulb moment.
What if telling the truth to myself, whether I shared it with anyone else or not, was the REAL KEY?
What if by letting go of control – not trying to put such a tight lid on the truth – allowed the control to let go of me? And set me free?
As soon as I had that thought, everything shifted in my body.
I suddenly felt free.
Free to speak my truth to others. Or not.
Because in speaking the truth to myself first (admitting where my heart was really at, and what it truly wanted) even if I wasn’t ready to tell others yet…I was already free.
I could do whatever I wanted. It was my life.
I had choices.
And as long as you have choices (and you always do, you just have to remember that you do!) you’re empowered.
Yes, that bears repeating.
Choice = empowerment.
‘Cuz when you realize you have a choice, no matter what the situation, you know you’re the one holding the power. Not someone else.
So the truth (even if you just admit it to yourself first) really DOES set you free.
It certainly did me. No more sleepless nights. No more anxiety.
I wasn’t afraid of the truth coming out anymore. It already had. For me.
And by facing and letting go of the fear, I had finally set myself free.
(Now it’s your turn. Can you think of an example from your own life when you felt empowered by sharing your truth – with yourself or someone else? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.)