Thursday, January 26, 2012

Speak your truth...or at least keep the peace

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So I was taking a quiz recently about strengths on Authentic Happiness (VIA Survey of Character Strengths). My top strength was seeing the beauty in the everyday and my second highest was honesty. I’m not surprised by either of these but something did stand out for me while I was taking the test. I realized that I believe in being honest and telling the truth, and appreciate the same in return, but I don’t always openly share my opinions on controversial items. While I don’t feel that I’m being dishonest, I do feel that I’m not completely speaking my truth. I would much rather keep the peace than state my thoughts on hot topics.

For example, I work with a mostly Republican team who have very strong opinions yet I don’t completely have the same views as they do on issues. I rarely state this and prefer to keep quiet. Not that I have a problem with a healthy debate but being bulldozed for my beliefs is not my idea of fun or productive.

(FYI – I made it a point when creating this blog to not bring politics into discussion. I still stand behind that decision so this is just an example and not an approval of any political party nor meant to bash any party. )

I’ve been in this same position in other social situations and instead of voicing my truth I chose to keep quiet. I don’t want to create an argument, divide a group, force others to choose a side, or cause any unneeded drama. I know who I am and what I believe and that should be enough, right? So that’s where I’m questioning my behavior.

Am I being inauthentic by not sharing? In my mind I’ve always felt that I was making a peaceful decision to practice ahimsa (Sanskrit: nonviolence, do no harm). And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. If asked I wouldn’t deny but since I’m not I keep my views to myself and things remain peaceful. And honestly (no pun intended!), I don’t feel the need to shout my thoughts from the rooftop. I don’t want to talk for the sake of hearing my own voice or be concerned how others feel about me. That comes from a place of ego and attachment to an outcome. As things stand, there is non-attachment (vairagya).

Hmmm...I’m at peace with that.

Check out Authentic Happiness if you get a chance. It was interesting to see my top strengths according to the survey and how accurate I feel they are to me. 
There are 24 strengths in all, here are my top 5:
1) Appreciation of beauty and excellence; 2) honesty, authenticity, and genuineness; 3) Love of learning; 4) Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith; 5) Fairness, equity, and justice.

What are your strengths?

Peacefully yours,

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