You’re about to read Chapter 42. Want to start this story from the beginning? Go here.
For the first time in forty-two consecutive days, I am at a loss for words.
How fitting, then, that Lesson 42 is about speaking up.
Of course I have plenty to say
The truth is, I’m tired. I cried a lot today.
I also did a lot of good work, substantial healing and release—hence the tears.
I tapped into anger and vocalized my fears.
Also I finally finally felt okay reaching out to Paul’s cousin, aka my friend who introduced us.
I had to tell him I couldn’t attend his birthday party in a few weeks (where Paul and I met last year). I thought it might be a tough convo but it wasn’t at all; we caught up for a wonderful hour and only at the end very barely mentioned Paul.
So I guess my speaking up happened IRL and it makes sense that now I am drained.
Still, I want to leave at least something on the page.
Here are some sentences I underlined in Lesson 42
Probably maybe I’ll come back through and clean up this post at some point, but at least in the meantime, you can get the gist of what caught my attention in this section.
(Aka, I’m going to let Katherine do all the talking.) (Although I won’t be able to resist making an occasional parenthetical comment.)
-“Communication skills are never the goal, but rather the means—the goal itself is communion.”
-“When we speak our truth, we are standing in the very center of our personal power.”
-“Everything we aspire to in life—success, fulfillment, and loving relationships—depends upon our ability to assert ourselves by asking directly for what we want and setting clear limits with others. It seems simple enough, but for many of us, it’s not.” (WORD.)
-“Until we risk telling the truth, we cannot have an authentic experience of love.”
-“When we are complaining, we are in resistance to what’s so.”
-“When we allow fear to dictate the quality of our communication, we will often engage in passive aggressive behavior.”
-“The bottom line between making a clear, direct request instead of a manipulative demand simply masquerading as a request is that you genuinely have the space for someone to say no.” (THIS x1000. )
-“There is great freedom in this form of non-attachment. Once you have mastered this, then you are at liberty to ask anyone for anything at any time.”
-“You really can’t be that invested in looking good if you want to know the experience of love.” (CHECK. haha)
-“Before we speak our minds, we would do well to ask ourselves what exactly it is that we are trying to create.” (TRUTH. Remind me to circle back and talk about the Buddhist concepts of right speech.)
A quick side note/quote
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but margins of pretty much every page in this book are crawling with quotes.
I don’t usually mention them in my posts because I’m already quoting Katherine so much, it seems weird to also quote the quotes she quotes, but the opening attribution for this lesson just cannot be denied.
“Ask and it shall be given you,” said Jesus.
There is great power in those words.
Lesson 42 in practice
Feel like answering eleven journaling prompts?
Me neither! But I did. And, of course, as usual, they were helpful.
However, I couldn’t help noting—with some self-satisfaction—that I would have been able to answer these questions more thoroughly in the past.
Because the inquiries focused around exposing repressed feelings. (“What upsets have I been holding inside myself?” “What is this costing me?” “Where am I avoiding asking directly for what I want?,” etc.)
And given that I grew up in repression central, it wasn’t so long ago that passive aggression was my primary communication mode.
But I changed.
I learned how to speak up for myself throughout the course of my unhealthy relationships—particularly with Leo and Jim—and by the time I had Paul as a partner, I really did do things differently.
In my relationships now, I might keep quiet for a day or two, depending on who I need to speak with or why I’m upset.
But I do not harbor resentments, and I know how to state my needs.
(Admittedly, I still have some work to do with non-attachment; it’s true that sometimes my “requests” are closer to demands in disguise. Pretty sure Paul could attest to that.)
So really, the only communication I am currently withholding is precisely the communication I agreed not to have.
There are still six weeks left till the end of the year, and I figure, we’ve made it this far, I can continue to give Paul what he asked for.
But if he doesn’t reach out to me in January?
You can believe I’ll be speaking up.
Love > fear,
Want to know what happens next? Proceed to Chapter 43.