I have heard Serge Benhayon say many times, “Expression is everything”, and have always felt it to be true. It has been presented in many Universal Medicine events and there have been many opportunities in the various workshops to feel into this, practise it with other people, and experience what a difference it makes to how I feel about myself, the world and other people.
More recently Serge Benhayon has even started explaining the connection between expression, time and space (Universal Medicine: The Way of the Livingness No. 5). And slowly and steadily I have developed myself out of a mindset that was stubbornly defending my particular kind of stoicism and the belief that what I felt wasn’t really worth anything, let alone saying it out loud.
But no matter how much sense something makes, change isn’t always easy. For example, there are questions I ask myself and put in the way between me and my expression and they go something like this:
- Do people really want to hear how I feel about something?
- Is what I have felt actually true?
- Is what I have felt actually worth sharing?
- What if people think I am an idiot?
And then there is this long list of self-imposed judgments and they go something like this:
- What I feel is not important enough.
- What I have felt and want to say does not make sense to other people.
- What does not feel right to me only concerns me; other people don’t feel the same way.
- What I feel is ridiculous in the eyes of other people, even the ones I am close to.
And then there are these niggling doubts as in:
- What I feel is too embarrassing to express, it will expose me and make me look ridiculous.
- Maybe my feeling was actually wrong and I better not say anything.
All this was put to the test the other day. I was in a group setting where a few people described a situation that had occurred a while back and I could clearly feel that what they were saying came with a hardness and did not feel right. But, following my own recipe as per the ingredients above, I did not say anything. Other people spoke in support of the original account and what they had to say made a lot of sense to me. Yes, it was very convincing and so I censored and banned what I had clearly felt, never to be seen again – or so I thought.
The next day I received an email from another group member who, like me, had also not said anything when we had all been together as a group and when I had censored and banned what I had clearly felt, never to be seen again.
Never to be seen again?
Not really… everything was opened up again. It had, of course, never gone away and I could feel an immense sadness in me – sadness about not having said and expressed what I felt I needed to say, regardless of the outcome.
What happened then was quite amazing: as I allowed myself to feel the sadness and magnitude of what had happened over the course of the afternoon, I realised that –
- What I feel is always true no matter how convincing the arguments to the contrary are.
- What I have felt does not need to make sense to anybody else.
- What I express does not need to make anybody’s day, resolve a conflict or fix a problem.
- What I express does not need to be smart, clever, intelligent or convincing.
- Expressing does not mean that I have to pull rabbits out of the hat and dazzle anyone.
- What I express is simple, straightforward, true for me and does not need anybody’s consent or approval.
It is actually all very simple. I could feel that all my life I had been putting this expectation on myself that when I say or express something, it better be brilliant or at least very useful or quotable even. And I had developed this habit of repeating myself when I thought that something I had said hadn’t been received the way I thought it should have been – just in case the other had missed something! And ‘something’ meaning how brilliant or clever it had been!
And now? With the support of Serge Benhayon and through the teachings of Universal Medicine, I am truly learning and beginning to appreciate and experience that expression ‘is’ everything and that expression does make a difference to how I feel about myself, the world and other people… I can feel a spaciousness in me – so much spaciousness that I even went looking for something to do and wrote this blog.
With thanks to Serge Benhayon, everything he stands for and presents, and to Universal Medicine.
By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah NSW
574 thoughts on ““Expression is Everything” – How I Feel About Myself, the World and Other People”
I have read this article a good few times over a year or so and each time I get a greater understanding. When I read the bullet points of questions you ask yourself about the validity of what you feel and the self-imposed criticism, I recognise each one and I equally recognise how ludicrous they are. My jaw slightly drops at how myself and people can walk around thinking these things about ourselves.
When I read the bullet points in absolute contradiction of those, I was feeling a big wow! These statements about yourself are so brilliantly claimed and remove the audience instantly. They also show how far removed we are from a common sense, natural and simple way of relating to each other and living. I can see very young children not needing validation, or a medal for what they say, needing to change things with what they say and I often see them expressing exactly what they feel.
You have summed it up beautifully, in two paragraphs – the whole nonsense and ill mental and eventually physical condition of lack of expression and self-denigration.
The other day, I surprised myself by the way my body just moved to speak up and nominate what was going on in a meeting, where I had always just sat behind not saying anything and just waiting for it to end. I really felt how my body just went into action. This made me realise how it is me thinking that what ‘I’ have to say is my personal opinion that I have concocted, that there is a part in me that thinks and comes up with things that get in the way of my expression. We are a vehicle. Everything that comes through us is for every one.
When aligned to Soul, the body becomes the willing vehicle and we can’t but obey – unless we pull in enormous forces.
“What I express does not need to make anybody’s day, resolve a conflict or fix a problem.” Holding back on expressing what we feel causes tension, as others are aware of the holding back and they feel this as a judgement.
We have such strong attachments to saying the right thing – so much so that I started this sentence 3 times before I continued to write what I am writing! It’s a need to be perfect & to not have faults, to not have others find any faults in us. The tension of that is so strong to carry on our shoulders, yet when we allow ourselves to be imperfect & accept that we actually are – we are going to make mistakes and so on, it takes all of that pressure off of our shoulders.
True – after all, we don’t expect a toddler to get up and start walking; on the contrary, we support, encourage and smile and say ‘oops’. Is it different just because we are in a bigger body?
I was thinking about this yesterday, when does it change? When do we flip the switch and no longer cherish our toddlers but begin to expect that they do everything right – that they write perfectly, and read perfectly, and as they grow up even more that they keep an immaculate room otherwise they get in trouble. When do we stop to respond to their calls for love, and start placing our demands on them? Does it even have a stop and start, or is it continuous and just gets worse with the years?
Thank you, Gabriele, I enjoyed reading this. What I felt for myself was how much stress I hold (and have since childhood) from holding back what I feel to say, I can feel it all there stuck in my throat. I can feel I have not been honouring myself by not sharing what I want to say, and that speaking up would simply be allowing me to be me. I can also see that I have pictures (scenarios) about what could happen if I speak up, however, these are just worries and possibilities, not the truth, and are all expectations of negative outcomes and are there to put me off speaking up. I agree life is simple if we follow through and say what we feel to.
It has taken me years to feel that what I have to say is worth hearing but with practice, it has become easier. Now I find that if I hold back the tension in my body forces me to speak up.
Yes, it comes to a point where our body does not allow us to clam up and censor our expression any longer.
I can relate with what you share Julie, we have been fed so many lies as we were growing up.
It may not sound clever, please anyone, fill a need, make another happy or feel any other emotion and may be the last thing they want to hear or it may even be completely ignored as if it never existed. But I am learning that using any of these factors to hold in how I feel is harmful. It’s a work in progress but I appreciate learning this.
I like what you have shared here Gabriele for we all can sometimes hold back from saying something that is literally on the tip of our tongue for fear we may look wrong or even stupid. But I am wondering even if what we say does not come out perfect it may provide a piece of wisdom that gives another a light bulb moment to expand on. And when we all do this it continually builds the quality of conversation to a higher level.
Expecting perfection is where the problem is hiding – we are all students after all and the demand for or expectation of perfection is nothing but a gag, thwarting our expression.
If we are already judging our expression before we speak there must be an ideal there of how it should be, instead of an acceptance of exactly how it is. Perfection ideals are so disabling, they also give us the excuse to hold back because perfection is always unreachable. Perfection also doesn’t make sense because there is always a learning process with everything and no end point, just constant learning.
You’ve made me aware that perfectionism is linear, aiming at an end point that is nothing but an illusion.
Perfectionism can, and does creep into so many different areas of our life, it is great to become aware of these areas so the false ideal of perfectionism can be outed.
I know this habit of repeating what I’ve said so that the other person really gets what is required. it’s a subtle form of judgment and control that exposes when I’ve made the entire conversation about getting something done – essentially the way I want it, so that I can tick the box and feel good about that – without connecting to the person or people in front of me, first. What we’re all learning is how simple and powerful it can be when we express what we feel, with no investment in the outcome. No need for repetition when we deliver what is there to be said, with 100% of our commitment and fullness.
Good call – repeating what hasn’t been received the way we imagined it should have been received, is quite imposing and in the end, just about right and wrong and all the complications that leads us to.
“What I express is simple, straightforward, true for me and does not need anybody’s consent or approval.” – this is a pearl that I need to sit with as I am reminded of the fact that there is still a big need in me to have another’s consent or approval of what I express or even what I am feeling. Great to be reminded of this now and to keep working on it.
Change is not always easy – but this is usually the case when we are used to doing something a certain way OR we have an attachment to how we have done something and are needing it to be that way for whatever reason. So in essence the change is not that difficult, but rather it is the ingrained behaviours and beliefs and needs that we have that make it harder to do. So if we were to work on these other aspects, then how much easier would it be to make the needed changes in our lives?
There is much love in expressing or reflecting to someone when something feels not right. We can see and feel a lot, so there are no excuses when we hold-back. Our expression is very precious – as we are – like a very needed gift to deliver on time.
It is important to honour what we feel, and to express this when called to, ‘What I feel is always true no matter how convincing the arguments to the contrary are.’
Sometimes expressing makes me feel really vulnerable. Maybe because I go in to a space where I don’t control what to say. However is this vulnerability that I’ve seen in people who take the courage to express in words their feelings what feels so sweet, real and very unique, it is something that really inspires me and I’m starting to practice it too, even if my whole body shakes at times or what I have to say doesn’t sounds perfect or smart, but to me feels clear, simple and worthy enough to be embraced.
Expressing certainly can trigger our vulnerability; what I am finding is the more I express, the more natural it becomes.
“And I had developed this habit of repeating myself when I thought that something I had said hadn’t been received the way I thought it should have been – just in case the other had missed something!” I have noticed many people doing this, including myself when actually whatever has been said has been heard and if we have an expectation that it should have been received a certain way then we have already laced the words with our expectation, and maybe it is that energy that is felt, which is why we never got a reply in the first place.
We come with a hidden agenda, whether that be walking towards someone or talking to them and this can be clearly felt, as the imposition that it is.
I love your list of realisations Gabriele, as I have had so many of the former lurking questions inside me when I have felt to express – and then not done so. Currently working with this one ;What I express is simple, straightforward, true for me and does not need anybody’s consent or approval.” Thankyou for this amazing post.
It’s like a rather crazy 2-step process where we might express but keep looking out of the corners of our eyes to make sure we don’t upset anyone, don’t say the wrong thing, etc. When and why did we start buying into all these doubts and self-undermining thinking?
Holding back what is another’s to receive and apply (or not) in their life is harmful for them and for ourselves; another opportunity will come around again but the contraction also needs to be healed.
I can so relate to what you have shared, what is unsaid not only doesn’t go away it actually harms the other as they do feel what we are feeling to express but chose to suppress and then trust goes out the window. So much simpler to just simply express.
So much simpler but we make it so complicated sometimes! When we don’t express what is there to be shared, we feel it-and so does the other. What isn’t expressed then leaves a gap that so often then gets filled with misinterpretation, confusion and contraction that harms our relationships and even our bodies.
What isn’t expressed drains us and is the beginning of dis-ease; it also harms everyone else because we are holding back what might well be theirs to have and learn from.
Just express with no expectations or pictures, ‘What I express is simple, straightforward, true for me and does not need anybody’s consent or approval.’
I am so delighted that you “went looking for something to do and wrote this blog” and that I found my way to it today. In fact, I found myself nodding in agreement all the way through. And the main thing I got out of it is the realisation I have actually changed so much over the last few years since my introduction to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and holding back my valuable expression, just in case I embarrassed myself, is a pattern of the past – and that delights me too.
It’s amazing what a few rounds around the Sun can do, isn’t it? We gain experience, have more wisdom and there are things we just don’t do to ourselves any longer. And shutting down our expression is one of them.
Yes it’s awesome to reflect on what is now past and what is there to deepen.
What if everything there is is to express what we feel? I can relate to what you say about holding back and having lots of doubt but as you also say that what we feel is not even for us to hold on to, it’s always there to help others grow and evolve and holding that back will have a very negative effect on both ourselves and everyone else that gets robbed of the opportunity to advance themselves.
We are indeed part of a greater all and when we hold back, we are in effect throwing a tantrum and saying that we want something for ourselves; in other words, we are at that moment steeped in individualism, to the eyeballs and then some.
Expression I agree is everything we express without words, as well as in our moves and movements and I am forever learning when it comes to expression. Yesterday an energy came through that made me constantly doubt myself and when I called this out to another, it just came right back at me to doubt myself even further. On reflection though what I am feeling now is how something within me has not been truly healed for this to happen, or how I moved or expressed leading up to this point was not in such a way where doubt could not enter. On reading this ‘What I have felt does not need to make sense to anybody else’ on some level I agree, but when it comes to expressing to another, it always helps to be super clear in what we are saying (lesson I learnt yesterday!).
When we express to another, the way we express is of utmost importance, of course – are we trying to garner sympathy, make a certain impression, do we have an agenda? All these emotions leave an opening, of course.
“It had, of course, never gone away and I could feel an immense sadness in me – sadness about not having said and expressed what I felt I needed to say, regardless of the outcome.” I have significantly become aware of this recently. It is very revealing how often I feel sad about burying my feelings however, it was a great rebirth for me to resurrect myself by simply renunciating I was numbing myself from feeling just how amazing I am if I just take moments to feel this in my body — we are vehicle of expressions that are capable of being very intelligent and holding and this needs to be appreciated. I have observed if I am not confirming that all can be so very supportive for me I will taken by the usual lessoning way of being I have given my power away to in the past.
Bottling up what we feel and what is there to be expressed is a form of self-abuse and, just like preserves, it starts to go off, ferments and smells bad after a while. Our body was not meant to be a container for unfinished business.
I have held back my expression for many years, I had fear around saying the wrong thing or people not liking me, it has been such a healing process to let any pictures and ideals go around my expression and just let it flow. I am noticing the more I express the easier it becomes, and if I don’t express something I can feel the tension in my body because of this.
Our body is not a preserving jar, not there to bottle things up inside – but we do and are much the worse for it.
The tension in our body if we do not express, is such a great call from our body to express.
And that tension harms us, leaves us unsettled and at odds with ourselves and the world.
Just yesterday, I was met with ‘You have misunderstood’ ‘That’s just your imagination’ etc. and basically a complete denial of what I said I had been feeling – which I hadn’t expressed previously, so I felt supported by your list, particularly the first 2 points, and then realised how personal I was making my feeling and expression to be and making it more prone to hurt. There’s so much to uncover in this topic. Thank you for writing this blog, Gabriele.
We are on very slippery ground when we think we need to defend what we are feeling; there is no right or wrong in the matter, it is what it is and over time, we learn to express what we feel more and more easily.
‘What I feel is always true’ – I love this because no matter how much we might want to not feel something, and dismiss or deny it, in the end the truth of what we feel always surfaces, in some form. The sooner we can be honest with ourselves and others, the better, because when we’re not, everyone suffers – we just prolong what we know is not true and not working, causing complication, drama and unnecessary pressure on our bodies and in our relationships.
We worship delay in its many forms – I will start this diet tomorrow; next year I will give up alcohol; I will not swear when I see the children next; when I’ve finished this pack, I won’t buy any more cigarettes. But tomorrow never comes, as the vernacular goes.
We have to be more aware of what it is that we call ‘expression’ and what it does in the context of let’s say a conversation. Does it elevate the conversation or the other or both? Does it bring more awareness? Does it dump on the other? Does it give us a sense of relief? The fact that our conversations are not of the first kind, makes clear the fact that they come from self. It is a politely camouflaged me me me exercise.
Being aware of what our expression contributes, or supports is key as you say Eduardo.
Expression is everything, but we have to be careful what we call expression is not just dumping energy in another one. The quality of our expression is also everything.
I have wondered about that myself at times; is it going to be used as an excuse to dump anything and everything on unsuspecting bystanders? Just goes to show how much we have twisted and raped our language when everything has to be prefaced with the word ‘true’, as in ‘true love’, ‘true expression’, etc.
We need to be aware of the quality with which we express, ‘expression ‘is’ everything and that expression does make a difference to how I feel about myself, the world and other people… ‘
“What I have felt does not need to make sense to anybody else.” My truth to be told. Lack of expression not only affects the body, but the mind and ones’ self-worth as well. Thank you for this, well-written. It feels as though you write for myself.
“What I feel is always true no matter how convincing the arguments to the contrary are.” This sentence alone is life changing.
It’s the vibration of doubt, self-doubt and delay that beckons, our prison for far too long.
It is such a relief when we can let go of all the expectations on ourselves to be and express in a certain way in the world in order to get acceptance, approval and recognition.
It hurts and stunts us greatly when we try to mould ourselves into the various shapes and ideals that have been imposed upon us. We then look out of the corners of our eyes and try to make sure that we are doing ‘alright’ – but whose measure is it?
It is the lack of expression during the day that leaves us discontent at the end of the day, with all the behaviours that follow from such emptiness seeking any sort of stuffing.
And stuffing is the correct terminology here – anything at all will do but doesn’t really, of course.
What I feel is true… at least to me at the moment when I feel it. That´s the best way to start honouring what I feel or think for whatever reason. Without the claim or demand one is feeling to be the absolute truth for all times and everyone, it just is what it is for the moment and then comes the next moment where we may learn, realize and feel something else.
Every moment counts and deserves to be honoured as it can easily and readily bring more awareness and new insights.
Lack of expressing how we feel is very harming for the body.
It is a poison that the body then has to deal with. That poison can express itself in many ways – relationship problems, health issues, grumpiness, overeating…all because we didn’t acknowledge what was there for us.
What an important clue to a lot of our ill mental health problems – worth looking into further?
Good point – an accumulation and festering of poison in the body can wreak havoc.
“What I express does not need to be smart, clever, intelligent or convincing.” – This one is a big ‘Ouch!’ for me as well Gabrielle, and reveals just how much pressure I too have put on myself to look intelligent or witty to others, and how I feel like I have to be the one to fix everyone else’s problems and come up with the ‘solution’. But this way of living is not only not true, it is really exhausting!. I just love reading your honest account of realising the immense value of our expression and honouring our feelings, no matter what. I am slowly learning to trust how I felt even if I get it totally wrong, as it builds trust in myself and my innate ability to feel the truth in every situation.
Perfectionism is a plague and a weapon that we like to use against ourselves – what is wrong with making mistakes and learning from them? After all, we don’t admonish toddlers when they learn to walk, or do we? And what is the difference? How come we expect perfectionism once we have grown up?
I felt tension leave my body as I read your list of how expression can be. We can make it so complicated when really it is quite simple:
What I feel is always true no matter how convincing the arguments to the contrary are.
What I have felt does not need to make sense to anybody else.
What I express does not need to make anybody’s day, resolve a conflict or fix a problem.
What I express does not need to be smart, clever, intelligent or convincing.
Expressing does not mean that I have to pull rabbits out of the hat and dazzle anyone.
What I express is simple, straightforward, true for me and does not need anybody’s consent or approval.
It is then up to us to start living this, to the best of our ability.
I’m really enjoying your blogs at the moment Gabriele. This blog being a great exposer of how ideals and beliefs get in the way of us expressing what is needed.
Thank you, Gabriele. I can relate to this blog so much, both to the long list of reservations about expressing my truth, and also the joyful turn around in starting to express what I feel no matter what. Now that I have started, I cannot imagine withholding so much of myself ever again.
We don’t need to justify what we feel, we are only here to express it. Sometimes it’s not easy but it is simple. I am noticing that the more I express, and push over the false walls of judgement about myself that i have built, then the more I want to express. I get a taste of how lovely it feels in the body and then I feel able to express more.
And there is no need for or attachment to a certain outcome; the expression is what counts and it completes a situation and leaves us free to move on, without being drained by unfinished business.
Beautiful, Simone. Yes, once we relinquish the self-judgement it is so lovely to start to speak what we feel, and every interaction becomes a fresh learning opportunity and exploratory playground.
Sometimes it is worth stepping out and saying what can be felt, even if there is incredible fear of rejection or ridicule or whatever. The simplicity of your expressive voice and the movements of your body is what counts.
Thank you Gabriele, for when we make space for our truth it opens us up. Hence when we express what we feel, we make space, and it opens us up. Actually it is simple.
Truth, love, harmony, joy and stillness, our divine qualities, are simple and we know them inside out because we come from that.
This for me says it all Gabriele – ‘What I feel is always true…’. Our relationship with what we feel, with embracing truth, with our bodies is what determines the quality of our expression. For when we express the truth we feel, we are allowing the vibration of love to move us, reflecting this quality for all to see, hear and feel. I have found that it is only when we have pictures of what love is or how truth is meant to be expressed or received, that we hold back, hindering our movements, which also exposes our need for recognition and acceptance. For with every word expressed from the truth we know and feel from within, from our bodies, is a spark of brilliance bringing light to any situation along with freeing up the space for more love to be.