The Fifth Chakra Exercise: What I Wish I Could Say (the 2014 edition)
Every year, I do the “What I Wish I Could Say” Fifth Chakra (throat) exercise because it helps me to
1. Be true to myself;
2. Remember to speak up and speak out rather than swallowing my anger, hurt, or confusion; and
3. Assess why I feel I cannot speak out.
What I’ve Wished I Could Say Before:
The first time I did this life coaching exercise was almost 10 years ago. I found I had about 30 things I had wanted–needed–to say to 30 different people but felt, for whatever reason, that I couldn’t. Over the years, I’ve whittled it down to 5 or 6 and all the way down to 0 in a very upbeat blog post on this subject 3 years ago. The last time I put myself through this exercise, the last time I felt I needed to, was in the March 2011 edition where I concluded:
The biggest difference this year is not in what I wish I could say, but that I have people in my life who not only allow me to say what I feel the deepest or the scariest things that come to mind, but also welcome what I have to say. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, I feel I need to hold back. I can speak up and be heard and still be cherished for what I have to say.
This year’s edition is different, longer, darker. Life is very fluid, and even when we achieve serenity, sometimes things happen that steal away that serenity, and that includes clarity that we need to live a life clear of things that hurt us in the long run, new disappointments, and long-buried wounds we didn’t know existed. So this year’s exercise wasn’t a mere shrug and a zero on a page. It’s just been one of those years, especially the last half of it.
As part of my personal evolution, I’ve gone from a place of not feeling I could speak up for fear of being abandoned or ostracized if I let people know what I truly thought to a place where I’m comfortable with what I feel and what I need to say. I’m at a place where, when I cannot speak out, it’s because of death or distance, because of legal ramifications, or that my speaking out would definitely make matters worse. On very rare occasions, I’ve had the chance to verbalize what I’ve written in these exercises, usually after some time had passed or circumstances had changed. Once or twice, my open expression of what I’d wished I could say earlier affected a reunion, and that person and I are closer than ever. Most of the time, though, they didn’t hear me or didn’t want to hear me…and what I wished I could say when finally was said went unheard or ignored.
Here’s this year’s exercise, one paragraph per person of what I wish with all my heart that I could say to each of them right now.
What I Wish I Could Say in 2014:
1. I understand you better now than I have my entire life, but that doesn’t really make it any easier. I recognize that you had a severe mental illness, and that does help somewhat intellectually, but even if you weren’t dead, it wouldn’t make it right. Emotionally, I would never be able to have that conversation with you. You would never have allowed it. If I had known then and been able to say what I wish I could say now, you would have cut me off, and I would have spent the next hours listening to a guilt-stained rant. I do know that you loved me, but you were never taught how to show it yourself. And I don’t blame you for that. But I do blame you for not trying to learn.
2. I know you think I hate you, but you’re wrong. I don’t hate you at all. I had always admired you. I thought that you were one of the strongest women I knew and certainly among the most honest. I don’t participate in the gossip about you. I don’t have to–everyone sees what you’re doing and they’re very quick to pass on the news to me. No, I don’t hate you at all–I just don’t respect you anymore.
3. I really liked you. I thought you were incredibly generous, always honest, and a sweetheart to the core, but the real reason I decided not to pursue a relationship with you was that in the final 30 minutes we were last together, I realized that if I let our relationship go any further, I would just be settling. I wasn’t in love with you, and I was never going to be.
4. I wish you would stop trying to push your politics and your religion on me in every single conversation we have. I don’t completely disagree with you on everything you say, but because I don’t agree with you 100%, you spend most of our conversations beating me over the head with how much you hate Obama and Democraps. I’ve told you before many times how uncomfortable your political and religious griping make me but you persist, so the only thing I can do to avoid the toxicity of the subject is to see you less often. That’s such a shame, too, because there are a million other subjects that we agree on that I would love to discuss with you.
5. You are one of the best people I’ve known in my life. You’ve taught me more than probably anyone else, and I respect you to the point of being pitifully intimidated. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to tell you how much you’ve meant to me and what a blessing you’ve been in my life…but as a single, unattached woman, I can never say that to you or to anyone else without my appreciation being mistaken for desire.
6. You are intelligent, funny, and a blast to be around. I so enjoy your company, but I cannot stand your family. I know you love them beyond measure, but egads, what a whiny bunch!
7. You are absolutely the hottest man I’ve known in years. Well, since 2008, anyway. I respect you more than you realize and we have far more in common than most people would think. But for as stimulating as I find you mentally and as enticing as I find you sexually, I’ll refrain from suggesting that we become lovers. I value our friendship too much to risk losing it.
8. You tell me I need to forgive you and move forward because you’ve changed. The thing is, it didn’t take me long to see that you haven’t changed at all. I tried to tell you this, 2 or 3 times, but the third time you cut me off, I knew it was something I could never say again to you. You haven’t changed. You haven’t done the heavy spiritual work that’s required to make the kind of change you claim. And every word out of your mouth proves only that you still want everyone else to mold to you.
9. I still love you. I still think about you all the time even though I hide it. I worry over whether you’re okay. I pray daily that you’ll be able to come back to center and work through your issues. But my feelings are all jumbled up. I hate you, too. I hate the lies and the manipulations. I don’t know who you are anymore. The hardest part is realizing that I never knew who you were at all. Sometimes I dream that we can be friends again, have those talks like we used to. Maybe more. But at the very least, friends. Then someone tells me another way you deceived me, and I hate you all over again. I know your secrets now, the things you kept so carefully hidden from me and from everyone else, so there’s a part of me that does understand what made you do those things. But while my head understands, my heart still cries out, “WHY?” What I wish I could say fills my heart if not the page.
What do you wish you could say, anonymously?