The first step to Truth Speaking is opening our hearts. Sometimes we resist this because we think it means that anything and anyone can come in and do us harm. There’s a difference between an open heart, which can feel, process, and stay steady, versus a stuck-open-window heart, which lets all sorts of crap in. 

The Warrior’s Heart

I encourage you to develop a Warrior’s Heart—an open heart that is responsive and reflexive, meaning that when something comes in and touches it, the heart responds and bounces right back. Most people’s hearts, however, are flabby—atrophied and weak. Something comes in—love, hate—and the flabby heart energetically folds around it and encapsulates it. When we curl around the pain, that’s when it embeds. A heart has to be healthy to feel, respond, and flex. Empaths—people who feel other people’s feelings—especially need to be able to feel the world without letting its woes root deep within them.

A really big part of the Brave-Hearted Path is being able to respond from a Warrior’s Heart while using the discernment of the heart, brain, gut, and every other power and intelligence center of the body. We’re mostly taught to respond from our intellect, which is a very small part of our faculties, so we end up making decisions that aren’t fully informed, which are usually mistakes. It’s like taking action after collecting the votes of only two people on a council of eight; you’re only using part of your resources, which isn’t wise.

What is Truth Speaking?

Truth Speaking means speaking from the heart with honesty and compassion. When I say from the heart, I don’t mean to gush—as in, “I love you, man!” I believe the heart has a number of attitudes; it has its own wisdom and compassion, and it will guide you in Truth Speaking. Compassion is a funny word; we think of it as being kind to someone else. I don’t agree. As I see it, compassion needs to encompass ourselves, the person we’re dealing with, and the situation. It means looking at and feeling for a resolution that feels most correct by the standards of the heart, mind, and gut. In learning a truth about myself, I found that I could be completely honest but without compassion for the other person and the situation. Words were used as weapons and shields. I needed to develop some generosity of heart to cultivate compassion.

Truth Speaking also means fighting for what’s right. I’m not talking about fighting with hands or guns; I’m talking about taking a stance in your truth as best you know it and speaking from that place of integrity.

When you act with a Warrior’s Heart, you understand that it’s not about being right versus being wrong. Being right isn’t necessarily a win. Nor is simply giving in to the other person—Okay, fine, you’re right. Let’s do it your way. That breeds resentment and imbalance. As a friend described it, acting with a Warrior’s Heart means “having to think with your heart and feel with your brain.”

This article is excerpted from Fierce Medicine: Breakthrough Practices to Heal the Body and Ignite the Spirit by Ana T. Forrest, and is republished with permission from the author.

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