by Tony Steenson, Age 35, Bricklayer, Coraki, Australia

Growing up, I was always a quiet child. In my early teens this continued; I was never loud or outspoken, and I didn’t really talk about how I felt to anyone. What I did though, was become really angry, so I started my relationship with heavy metal music… because listening to angry music seemed to have a calming effect on me when I was upset.

I was disgusted at the behaviour of a lot of my mates. They were rude, offensive and just didn’t seem to care about anything or anyone except themselves… yet I didn’t say anything to them because I didn’t want them to not like me or call me names or give me a hard time – I didn’t want to rock the boat.

This ‘no boat-rocking way of life’ caused me a lot of pain over the years as I experienced countless situations where something really needed to be said, but because of my uncertainty in what to say and my unwillingness to stand up I just moved on from the situation, ignoring what I felt.

Enter Universal Medicine.

From listening to presentations and doing a few workshops, I now have a greater understanding of myself, and of others. I know now that by me not speaking up and saying “that’s not ok”, I am actually allowing it to happen. That’s a big one that I’m sure we’re all guilty of, but one that I want to call from now on.

I have also realised there is a responsibility with the way I express myself; if I express in anger I get anger coming back to me.

The fear I once had of not fitting in isn’t really there anymore – I say what I feel a lot of the time now, and it feels great to get it out.

I am still learning and experimenting with this and sometimes it goes great and other times not so crash hot, but I learn from my mistakes and am willing to give it a go.

456 thoughts on “SPEAKING UP

  1. We all feel so much and can say it when push comes to shove, but very few of us are choosing to speak with love. It doesn’t mean sugar coating words or being fluffy – just connecting to our essence when we speak. We need to realise it’s not the words that we’re here to share, but a quality of energy that truly cares. When we express this we set our foundations for life. Thank you Tony.

  2. Your last paragraph is great – when we’re relearning something it can definitely be rocky – sometimes brilliant, sometimes not and sometimes we make mistakes but what’s important is that we approach it as a learning process – not that it’s the end of the world when stuff happens, and that like you say – we’re always willing to give it a go.

  3. What I have observed is that there can be a holding back even when saying lots of words. Anything that is said not in the fullness of what we have felt to say is holding back.

  4. Gosh, we talk a lot, yet with little attention to our quality spoken.. often this is the case and no one should be judged for that. It is a way of communicating we have made to be our standard, a place where words have the highest truth, yet where there is so much manipulating in the way they are used and false meanings given to the words.. We have to come back and view things differently. What if the quality is our first matter: how do we use words? Do we feel what words to use, or just say them? Where is our integrity when it comes down to using words and speaking them? Where is our connection to the words and truth? Ponder deeply.

  5. What I love about this is the exploration of a man stepping out of his bubble, of how he thinks he needs to be to fit into the world and stepping into honouring himself and learning to express himself.

  6. Reading this again was a great reminder of 1. It feels horrible to not rock the boat 2. I can say how I feel with ease to some but not others (especially those in higher work positions) 3. Having the willingness to have a go and possibly fall flat on my face is far less tense than holding back.

  7. When we express in full with a loving heart, we are claiming our authority and sharing what is given to us to share for the benefit of all.

  8. I agree – there is a responsibility to be had when it comes to how we express ourselves, and I know for myself how the fear of making mistakes has got in a way of simply expressing what I feel when I feel it. It is a work in progress and I too am willing to give this a go.

  9. I understand now how much not speaking up what we know to be true really harms us and others as we are holding a natural impulse back from being expressed that needed to be shared.

  10. Thank you Toni for your sharing, the other day I did speak up in a work situation, without hesitation which can be there when I feel I should speak my truth but now it just came out of my body, an honouring of my feelings which gives me a natural strenght and authority.

  11. It seems to me that all our emotions come from us holding back from expressing how we feel. The emotions are then a way for us to process and release the tension in our bodies from holding back.

  12. Starting to speak up after a lifetime/s of holding back is going to have moments that are not so ‘crash hot’ – it’s like learning to walk again after years of lying in a bed – but as you so beautifully express Tony, it’s our willingness to keep on giving it a go and not hold back how we feel that supports us to deepen our relationship with truth and our expression of it.

  13. “I know now that by me not speaking up and saying “that’s not ok”, I am actually allowing it to happen.” That is so true Tony and on top of it we hurt ourselves with it! The best medicine is to speak up again – what most of us did when we were young as it is our natural way of being.

  14. It’s amazing how liberating it is to feel the fulfilment that naturally comes from our connection to who we are within, as we realise that there is nothing to seek, nothing to prove and nothing to fear as there is nothing missing. When we just allow ourselves to express who we are and what we feel, we naturally express the truth with love, the qualities that represent who we all are in essence.

  15. ” I know now that by me not speaking up and saying “that’s not ok”, I am actually allowing it to happen ”
    The sad part is when we do not speak up we in fact are saying it’s ok by our silence.

  16. Tony thank you for you honest sharing – that is for me rocking the boat! The willingness to give it a go is the best medicine ever – promise! I am taking the same medicine and it is healing me while I am living.

  17. ‘This ‘no boat-rocking way of life’ caused me a lot of pain over the years as I experienced countless situations where something really needed to be said, but because of my uncertainty in what to say and my unwillingness to stand up I just moved on from the situation, ignoring what I felt’ I would imagine this is true for so many and yet as you say bursting out in anger is also not the answer as it harms everyone concerned. Having a steadiness that can observe what is going on and stay with it long enough to assess one’s feelings without reacting is an art and one that we gain with practise. By doing this we can then express ourselves from a centred place and no harm need be done.

  18. I can so relate to what you have shared. The more self love and worth I build within the more I know what comes through me to be expressed is not mine to hold back but is for all to hear.

  19. Learning from our mistakes is a key point here Tony as it is important to understand that this is how most of us learn.

  20. Through not speaking our truth we hurt ourselves far more than any boat rocking our expression may cause others to vent towards us.

  21. What I have found is that if I don’t express this is equally as harming as someone who expresses in anger or frustration. It may not be in your face but our body language is still expressing our unsaid thoughts.

  22. I agree Tony willing to have a go to be honest and true to ourselves and others regardless of a possible rocking is a great choice and brings so much more light and love to a situation than a few waves can dilute or disturb. The disturbance seems to kick in when truth isn’t spoken.

  23. Well done Tony and thank you for sharing , having the will to be you will get you there , being the whole you no matter what the world wants. Remember the boat will not get moving unless someone rocks it. So stay on rocking Tony. ha ha .

  24. Willing to learn from our mistakes is a great thing. The art is to not take it personally and remember we are not what we do as mistakes are not ‘us’.

  25. So many of us have the fear of not fitting in but do we really want to fit into something if it is not true or loving?

  26. The tension of not speaking up is great. We can project this tension out and blame the situation. This is easy to do as if we observe something wrong in the world it can hurt – a lot. But the pain of not speaking up is far greater than anything external.

  27. It is like learning to walk – we knocked a few things over, we bumped ourselves, we even upset a few people but we needed to get up and have another go because not walking was not an option. It would have harmed our life not to walk, our choices would have been so different, so what if expressing ourselves verbally is no different?

      1. Yes, so true. If saying something ruffles feathers but the intention was true and came from love and a willingness to be open to understanding then there is always an expansion of that understanding I have found – ususally on both sides. There may still be a disagreement about how to deal with something or what was done but there is less of an issue – does that make sense?!

  28. Every time I’ve heard heavy metal music, all I’ve been able to feel is the anger in it. It makes sense that the vibration of the music can sooth anger as it’s almost as if when like meets like it settles.

  29. It’s definitely an awful feeling, holding back saying something that results in another person being treated badly when you know it could have been stopped, or at least brought to people’s attention. It’s not worth it for anyone involved. And we never get away with not expressing how we feel.

  30. This is awesome ‘The fear I once had of not fitting in isn’t really there anymore – I say what I feel a lot of the time now, and it feels great to get it out.’ great to hear this as how many of us try to fit in and don’t say what we truly feel?

  31. Often when I came across abusive behaviour from others in the past, I tend not to speak up because I was in fear of rocking the boat. But now I realise speaking up no matter what the outcome is very important, because when I choose to stay silent and not express, I know it is basically saying yes to abuse. By speaking up may rock the boat but in truth abuse is not at all stable in the first place and realising how harmful it is when we don’t put a stop to it has supported me to express more and not be in fear of doing so. I used to worry about the immediate consequences of speaking up but from experience I realise by not speaking up when I witness abuse has far deeper and harmful consequences overall.

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