In Christian marriage ceremonies, the congregation is always asked to consider that ‘if anyone knows any just cause or impediment why these two persons should not lawfully be joined together in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.’ If we unpick this, it’s essentially a call for expressing any ill and resetting to truth before we get in too deep, before we cement things in a way that we can’t ever return from. We get this option to choose truth or keep schtum in our lives on a daily, even moment by moment basis too. We’re constantly being presented with new opportunities to speak up or out when things aren’t true. But do we take them?
When was the last time I remained silent, wedding myself forever to a lie? Perhaps at work when I let something go by so as not to seem a know-all and risk becoming unpopular? Out with friends who want to drink (more) alcohol when I don’t? With family over simple choices about what I want to eat that night or do this weekend? About my friend’s disastrous new purchase or worse still, new partner? Or when witnessing verbal aggression towards a supermarket till operator?
Why this matters is because each time I don’t speak what is truth for me, it has an effect on my body. And that’s important to me because my body is my one and only vehicle, with me everywhere, taking me anywhere and supporting me in everything. In the words of modern philosopher, Serge Benhayon, ‘Our mouth can say things, our mind can think things – but our body is living all of it’.¹
It takes enormous amounts of energy to withhold something not said, not expressed. So is it possible that when we don’t express truthfully, we are essentially creating our own source of energy depletion and adding to our exhaustion levels? What if we could see the weight of that burden on our bodies. All those moments where we haven’t spoken the truth in our lives we carry inside us. I imagine we might be shocked by our levels of ‘non-truth’ obesity!
And then there’s the wider impact – that because I don’t speak out about something that’s not true, it allows others not to, thereby perpetuating a lived lie – a family, group, institutional, national or international collusion – until before we know it, the lie, the angle is commonly accepted as our ‘normal’, as our operating truth.
Take the completely deceitful concept of airbrushing photos so that we never see the true reality in the picture but an entirely manipulated version. Or the illogical sanction of the design and manufacture of cars that enable us to drive on our roads at speeds way beyond the national speed limit. Or that just because there’s now a coffee shop on almost every corner of every high street, it doesn’t mean that coffee is good for you. It just means it’s fashionable, it’s a cash cow and it’s being leveraged for all its worth – at your expense. Fact.
So which areas of life are we living where we haven’t spoken out but instead withheld our feelings, our absolute knowing, our truth? Because once we’ve withheld a first time, it becomes disproportionately harder to break the veil of the lie the longer we continue to live it. Such that we find ourselves in ‘arrangements’ with people. From friends, partners and colleagues to organisations, governments and nations.
The last time I can remember a true UK public outcry – for which read ‘strong opinion’ – was over the decision to go to war with Iraq. But coming from a foundation based on years of collective apathy, this was treated by those in power as mere toddlers in a tantrum. And then we wonder why we have a world in which 1 in 5 children in UK care homes end up in some sort of crime; where obesity levels have soared since portion sizes ballooned and sugar became ubiquitous; where Greece can wriggle its way out of defaulting on its debt repayments yet again whilst bringing further levels of desperation to its citizens from the reality of increased austerity. Why aren’t we saying it as it is?
I know when I don’t speak out and choose instead to withhold the truth, I feel lesser in that moment of choice. It’s a feeling of letting myself down, of not being true to myself – and there’s a part of me that contracts, recoils and feels awkward in that collusion; that I’m not being totally honest with myself and therefore I’m offering another person or group a lesser form of me, not the me of conviction, of courage, of confidence or certainty that I know I am.
But why is it that we don’t we speak out? So that we’ll be accepted and liked? So people won’t be affronted or knocked out of their stupor? Or because it’s too difficult, too complicated and we don’t feel comfortable, ready or good enough? Or we are not confident that anyone will listen? The list would appear to be comfortably long but that doesn’t make it OK. It’s just a long list of excuses. For if we all sat back and did nothing, what would happen? Where would we be? Extremes of rich and poor across the world? Illness and disease at epidemic proportions because of the way we’re living our lives? In global financial crisis? Terrorism and hatred stemming from a lack of understanding and different values? Or tribal wars across the globe perhaps?
I rest my case.
¹ Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations (1st edition, UniMed Publishing 2011) p 411