Over a period of weeks, I sat with this, knowing that it was a requirement for me to attend the workshops whilst at the same time the discomfort within me was rising. It dawned on me that something needed to be said, and that I was the person who needed to say it . . . after all, wasn’t it me who was feeling the double standard in what was on offer?
Firstly, acknowledging that something needs to be said and that it’s my responsibility to say it. Perhaps others are feeling the same as me and by saying something it may alter the workshops in some way to be more honest and open - not that that’s an outcome I’m seeking.
Secondly, to acknowledge what I’m feeling and name it: anger, frustration etc. and to know that it’s up to me to work through this before I speak, so what I have to share is not loaded. I’ve found that writing down what I feel to say is really supportive; it helps to clarify my thoughts and sort my feelings from what’s really going on. And then to commit . . .
When I’m at home, I often feel what it is I need to speak up about at school, however, when I get to school, there’s a slight shift in my attitude to, ‘Does it really matter? Is it that important?’ This has allowed me to see that in my work I’ve settled into a level of comfort as I don’t want to cause a disturbance in the relationships that I have formed over many years.
What’s then supportive for me is remembering that in the past when something has needed saying and I’ve said it from a place of clarity, it actually deepens the relationship I have with the person and brings more openness and honesty between us.
What’s also important for me to confirm and appreciate is that the quality of relationships that I have developed over a number of years, through my steadiness and willingness to remain open to learning and observing, holds me in good stead to bring an element of honesty into the system I work in.
Again, not needing any tangible outcome, simply being true to what I feel needs saying and allowing the other person to respond. In this way, a level of understanding develops between us.
We’ve all heard about the elephant in the room. I’ve come to realise that by sitting in silence and not voicing what needs to be said is a bit like having an elephant inside me. It doesn’t feel great – and leads to stewing away and mulling things over in my mind - whereas, stepping up and speaking out about something that doesn’t feel true can bring a deeper connection and understanding between people and certainly leaves me feeling a whole lot lighter. I’m really appreciating how steady I am in bringing the simplicity of honesty into my work environment.