A few weeks ago I had my scheduled laundry time. I live in an apartment and share laundry facilities so we have to pre-book this time. So early that morning it was finally my turn and I had from seven to twelve to make it happen… Everything was going as planned until I noticed that someone had sneaked in to put their laundry in a machine I wasn’t using at the time.
First I was quite cool with it, but then I felt it wasn’t all ok, so I decided to leave a little note – loving enough but firm. I felt confident to bring the truth of what I felt – not rock solid – but strong enough.
Then I saw through the window that it was my neighbour just across and I felt a bit like “Oh no, but I really like that person” – and that made me realise something very important…
Do I hold back expressing what I feel is the truth to people I happen to favour?
And if so, why is that? Is there a fear of losing them if I express how I truly feel? Is there a fear of being rejected? Maybe it’s more comfortable to express when it feels ‘safe’ and I have nothing to lose, so to speak. But that doesn’t really feel like an honest approach when it comes to relationships between people, and it doesn’t feel like an honest approach to life.
Furthermore, it brought to me an understanding that expanded the meaning and importance of expression…
It made me realise that when I feel like expressing something, it’s not for me to judge or assess whether I should express, because it’s not for me to hold onto.
And all of this, what I experienced this morning, brings to me a bigger understanding of life and our true purpose. It also showed me a more whole way of being with others, as I realise that what I feel isn’t for me to hold on to, but for someone else who has asked for it.
Sometimes, someone might be stuck in a pattern and might need to hear something to be shaken out of it, and if I hold back from expressing what I feel, I’m actually keeping them from evolving from something they might have already felt deep down is not true.
It also exposed that I make it about me when I question whether I should express or not.
So in my case, what happened this morning was a great opportunity to explore what it’s like to express when I feel the impulse to, and not hold back.
Enough times I’ve done that – holding back from expressing what I feel – and when I do that it feels like something is left in my body that is not mine. When I do express on the other hand, it’s such a freedom and my body feels much more spacious and alive.
Even if I allowed what I felt to be expressed this morning I realise that it will take some time to get used to it. I can admit there were doubts as to whether I should say it or not but this time I kept with the feeling and stood by it.
My fellow mate in the washing room seemed a bit reluctant in taking in what I shared with her though. I realise that it will take some time for us all to develop a true sense of communicating, since we basically communicate with a measured level of comfort to not have things come up that might be there to address.
What I experienced was a language that is not for the ears to hear but for the heart to feel and it really feels like the language of brotherhood – of humanity coming together as one – since its impulse is to make things work that aren’t truly working.
So when the silent asking is there next time I’ll do my best to stick with it because it’s worth it!
By Matts Josefsson, Säter, Sweden
Find the blog also on Expressing How We Feel – A Matter of Responsibility