Share Your Opinion: Truth


By YJ Editor  |  

Here’s what Yoga Journal readers had to say:

It has taken a very long time, but I choose to speak my truth now. It has been very freeing to me and to others. I used to think that it was important what other people thought of me and so had to be careful what I said so they would not think ill of me. Now, as I practice speaking through my heart, I speak my truth, what needs to be said comes out in a kind and compassionate but clear way and I no longer worry. I ask myself, “What can they do to me, anyway?” I am empowered and feel more complete than ever.
—Linda

Speaking my truth is becoming easier, but there are still times when either it feels too confronting or potentially hurtful – in those times I try to be as truthful as I can, but it’s not always an easy balance.
—Cherise

I do not feel comfortable speaking my truth in any situation. However I am much better at it. Otherwise I can feel my truth stuck in my troat and that does not feel good!
—Shirley

Yes, I feel comfortable speaking my own truth because truth is never wrong and if you are comfortable with your own truth than why should there be a problem expressing it. You don’t have to be an evangalist to speak your truth and if being sensative to others while speaking your own truth, it can help light the way for others as well.
—Gail

Your question is irrelevant. I doubt that anyone feels comfortable in every situation when speaking the truth. A more appropriate question would have been “Do you always speak the truth even when you are uncomfortable?” Besides, what’s The Truth, anyway?
—Matt

I feel comfortable speaking my truth with certain people, a close friend, my husband. It is much more difficult with other family members, especially my mother, who is quite old and unexposed to so many ideas that she feels threatened when I discuss them. Particularly matters concerning emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and conscious living. As a child of the Depression, she never learned to speak about any of these things, and has no vocabulary for them. At this point, I can speak my truth best in small groups, with my writer friends, or simply through my writing.
—Nancy

I’m surprised by the low percentage for “yes” in this question. I think like anything else, truth can be tempered to the situation and the person, but when it comes to speaking plainly about ones beliefs, lifestyle choices,feelings, then yes, be truthful. You can’t be truly open to yourself or others if you continue to not be truthful. Many people find it refreshing once they are truthful to themselves or around someone who they know is willing to be honest about themselves.
—Kimberly

a lot of times i don’t feel comfortable speeking my truth. a lot of times i’m not sure what my truth is. i have to do more throat chakra work fo’ sho’
—Doug

Speaking your truth is good for you, but not always great for others. It’s a tightrope that I am conscious of being challenged with daily.

—Rachel

I really do feel comfortable speaking the truth and I practise saytya. I feel it is the best way to deal with anybody. However, if there is a chance that I will hurt another individual, regardless of the words that I use, then I will choose to say nothing at all or say as little as possible. In difficult situations I use a hand mudra that is specific for ‘right speach’. Most often I find this helpful.
—Lori


It is a constant effort to keep my “truth” and my focus clear of other factors that cloud me – anger, frustration, or being tired. In those times, truth can be an exhaustive process of filtering and that is when I most find myself not speaking my truth and using judgement rather than acceptance.
—JB

I think if we don’t open our minds and speak what is true, we continue to live this life on the “surface”. Not exploring truth, compassion and honesty is to me, very superficial. I believe that using “speaking your truth” should not be used if it is going to hurt another person. But then again some people need to hear how they affect you in order to grow. But that can still be said with compassion and love.
—Sarah

My “truth” is that each person has to travel their own path, make their own mistakes, and learn what they need to learn in this incarnation. My “truth” also recognizes the meaninglessness of words, so often there is no point in trying to verbalize my truth. However, my actions always reflect my truth, as do the actions of everyone. We need to pay more attention to what people do rather than what they say.
—Tom

We live in a very conservative area. When I take my son to playgroups, outings with other moms, etc, I have unintentionally offended some of them by speaking the truth about fossil fuels, excessive lifestyles, war, etc. Because of their reactions, and to keep my son involved with his playmates, I censor myself almost to the point where I have to meditate to keep from blurting out some thing that might irritate one of them.
—Lisa

I generally speak the truth, whether requited or not, in most circumstances. If I don’t how will people know what my thoughts, expectations and feelings are? They are sometimes not well received in the instance but are in the long run.
—Heather

Depending on the situation I usually have a hard time speaking the truth because I do not want to cause stress or hurt others feelings. However, I have found out that I may be preventing stress for the other person, but in return I am causing me stress. I need to find a balance and figure out a way to tell the truth that will benefit all parties involved.
—Jamie

Don’t we all wish that we could feel comfortable speaking our truth no matter what, who are we hurting by holding our truth back? Mostly ourselves!!!! May we all be able to speak our truth everyday!!!!
—Joanna

We often mistake opinion for truth and think we need to share an opinion. When that opinion may cause harm, and we refrain from speaking, that is not being uncomfortable with truth, it is using common sense and compassion.
—C.

You ask if I feel comfortable speaking the truth in any situation. The key word here is “comfortable.” Is there anybody who feels comfortable in every single situation? The answer to that is probably no. It is not that difficult to speak the truth in almost any situation, if you give yourself enough time to listen first, understand the situation, get a feeling for the others involved, and then take the time to formulate what you what to say. Sometimes doing these things even changes your notion of what you think the truth is. Perhaps you come into a situation believing one thing, but find yourself persuaded that the truth may lie somewhere else.
—A.


Many times I hold my tongue for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or I fear ridicule.
—Anne

I was once told by my mentor that I “need a governor between my mouth and my brain.” I have been self-conscious about speaking my truth ever since. Also, my problem is often self-delusion — about what actually IS my truth!
—Susan

I am surprised to see from your poll that so many who are practicing yoga are not being truthful to themselves and to others. It’s possible to be truthful and yet speak with tact and love. As a teacher, I cannot see being untruthful to myself nor to my students. I require that of myself and my students and peers deserve AT LEAST that. If we as teachers are “examples of yoga,” what example do we set when 73 percent of respondents say they are not comfortable being truthful?
—Chrystal

I speak the truth in too many situations! I can’t help but say what is on my mind and give my opinions and, while I don’t think I am being cruel or disrespectful to others, I can see that many people only say what they think they should, and censor themselves constantly. This has always puzzled me.
—Jack

For me there is a difference between speaking the truth in any situation and speaking the truth any time I speak. If possible I like to first examine why I feel the need to say something – will my shared thoughts and words be a benefit or a detriment to the situation, both short and long term? If I choose to speak I pray that those words will reflect the truth; if I choose not to speak I pray that I accept that some thoughts were never meant to make the transition to language.
—Kay

It is a wonderful concept to always speak the truth but in reality there are many people who have sensitivities as well as short tempers. One gets along much better in the world by remaining silent about an issue rather than speaking the truth about it.
—Carol

I find that most people are not able/ready to accept ‘truth’ even when graciously presented, particularly in workplace situations. Most comments seem to be taken personally and there is no openness for dialogue to solve common problems. I try to think before I speak, remember what it is I want to say, specifically, relay that information in as neutral a tone as I can manage and hope comments are taken for what they are.
—Pam

Hmm, I read the question again and discovered that little word ‘your’ before truth, rather than ‘the’ truth! My truth could so easily come from my emotions or perceptions which can vary from day to day whilst the truth should be something rather more absolute. To tell the truth, we have to be either somewhat knowledgeable or, at another and very different extreme, enlightened. Either condition is highly unlikely, which thus leaves your truth as the other option. My truth, however, is invariably influenced by Maya and how I perceive the world around me and this is a difficult veil of delusion to see through. My truth may be at complete variance to yours meaning that, should you enquire whether I think you are attractive and respond with a committed yes, you are likely to believe me, when in fact, you may be less attractive than I perceive, thus, you find yourself wandering down that same delusive path. Out of one delusion come two, this is a very virulent condition for which only one cure exists (silence is not an option)….take Yoga twice a day with a small dose of Pranayama…..
—Bryan


I am still learning satya and must practice in every difficult situation, that is, if I have meditated on a specific situation and have resolved my issues and looked with loving compassion on the other, I succeed. It’s the new and unusual situations that rattle my “comfort” zone but…with practice, a few deep breaths and the loving presence, it is only uncomfortable until I hear myself sharing the gift of loving kindness!

—Suna

Being a hairdresser for 24 years has taught me a lot about speaking the truth. I hold my client’s crowning glory, their self esteem, and sometimes their self confidence as well as their vanity (for the most part) in my hands, and when they come to me with expectations of grand and sometimes impossible transformations, I must be completely honest in a caring and compassionate way.All faces and necks were not created equal, nor was hair, and I learned within the first year of my career that one should ALWAYS speak the truth as it is much easier to remember that, than it is to keep track of little white lies and fibs. The last three years spent in Yoga classes has just solidified it even more.
—Laura

I live in a very small town where people are very close-minded. Yoga is still a “religion of the devil” to many folks here. I feel like I am always censoring what I want to say. This is sad, but true!
—Theresa

I try to be truthful most of the time. There are, of course, times where the truth could be too hurtful or something. Rather than lie, however, I try to balance a potentially negative truth with a positive one. For example, if my wife asks what I think of a skirt that doesn’t suit her, I won’t simply say yes or no. I may tell her the cut of the skirt doesn’t quite suit her build, but that the color looks really good on her. A lot of times, I think feedback isn’t so much a matter of a truthful or untruthful response, but simply how the truth is presented. Of course, there are times when it’s best to just keep your fool mouth shut. :)
—Ethan

No, I do not always feel comfortable speaking my truth. I believe it is because my truth is not everyone’s truth and at times it is easier to not go there than to be in a arguement. However, I do stand my ground on issues I feel are important to all people. Like stealing, cheating, etc..
—Dutch

I know I’ve got a bit of a martyr complex going on. I want to make everyone happy. I can bend and adapt. Or perservere to save others from inconvenience.
—Amy

Speaking my truth is becomming more and more complicated. Holding a Ma. in Charasmatic theology and moving toward a Mahayna idealism complicates things. Yet I seem to have a better foundation to speak from, I guess I’ll continue to practice and speak mindfully with love and compassion.
—Jeff

Sometimes conversations seem to happen so quickly, and I realize I’m not comfortable with what I’m saying, but can’t quite figure out why. It’s a matter of being able to know and speak my truth more quickly; maybe I’m a “beginner” but I often find I need time to consider things before I “know” what my truth is.
—Kathleen


If I am uncomfortable speaking my truth in every situation, it is more about fearing the reprisals and reactions from others. The truth always comes out even if we don’t use words.
—Rhonda

Ironically, those voting “no” are probably practicing satya moreso that those voting “yes”.
—Brynn

I chose undecided instead of Yes…
As I have a few situations in my life were people make it quite clear that they are not interested in my opinion or have any intention of accepting it as simply my truth. My truth actualy is a source of discomfort for them.
—Cathy