with Kathy Sparrow

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”

~ Barbara De Angelis, Transformational Teacher and Author


For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been aware that I’ve swept a couple of distractions under the rug –– one with a friend and one with a client. The “noise” from these two circumstances is getting louder.

    My mentor and friend, Jack Canfield, wrote the book, The Success Principles: How to Get to from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.” Success Principle #50 is “Tell the Truth Faster.”

It’s uncomfortable to step up and speak up –– and today, in meditation, I realized I must. In the first situation, I have to tell a friend how deeply hurt I am by a comment made weeks ago. I’ve tried to ignore it, deflect it, and pray it away. I was hoping I could forget this one moment until I realized a couple of other actions amplified that first instance. I know that initially, there might be discomfort between us –– maybe even more distance. But to honor me, I have decided to address the situation –– not in person because that’s impossible right now, but by writing a letter. Writing allows me to choose just the right words, sit on the initial draft, and then make revisions as needed.

In the client situation, I merely need to draw on the facts of a contract. The emotion I feel is that he may choose not to work with me on the extra tasks, and I might have put in a few hours that go unpaid. Lessons learned.

Jack says, “One of the most valuable practices and yet the hardest to do for most people is telling the truth when it is uncomfortable. Most of us are worried about hurting other people’s feelings that we don’t share ‘our’ true feelings. We end up hurting ourselves instead.”

Recently, he challenged me to be uncomfortable when I was discussing another situation with him that was held a more emotional charge.

I’ve accepted the challenge.

I know it will become easier with practice, and I’ll be much less distracted throughout my day––especially when I’m writing––when I take a stand for myself.

When we leave things unsaid, resentment builds, which is a poison to our health and wellbeing.  We spend precious time imagining what we’d say if we really had the chance (or the guts). We play situations over and over again in our minds, looking for clues of what went wrong, and what we might have done to prevent the situation. But without action, we’re caught in the quagmire of our monkey mind.

The key in these situations I’m facing is that I must do my part and say what needs to be said––and then let go. Attachment to an outcome will only create more uneasiness. While I hope the friendship is strengthened and the contract is modified, it’s most important to support and honor myself. My needs are important, and I’ve learned that over the years, by not speaking up for myself, I’m, in essence, dismissing myself and rendering myself inconsequential.

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