• Martha Clark Scala

There's Joy in Truth Telling

Updated: Oct 4

September, 2019

Find Your True Everything: Collage by Martha Clark ScalaFind Your True Everything: Collage by Martha Clark Scala

A Tale of Letting It Rip

Recently, I spoke with a friend on the phone and noticed she was much more animated than usual. I loved finding out why.

This friend of mine works her tail off for an organization that flat out stinks at leadership. After months, if not years, of harboring frustration, anger and resentment toward her leadership for poor decision-making and insensitivity to oppressive workloads, she finally protested.

She admitted that it didn’t necessarily come out pretty. Her usual elegance at giving tactful feedback was compromised but the words that came rolling off her tongue were a true, authentic response to what she was being asked to do.

She let it rip.

So many of us have been taught to be polite, appropriate, and accommodating in order to avoid the label of “difficult person” both in the workplace and at home. To break these rules is a big deal for those of us who felt great pressure to be agreeable. Who wants to risk being pegged as “trouble?”

What if taking the risk to be more forthright and honest is worth it? As I listened to my friend’s tale of what happened when she let it rip, I realized this was the most joyful I had heard her sound in a long time. There was a lot more energy in her voice, too. And that raised my joy meter.

This blog is not an invitation or encouragement to let it rip, disrespectfully. Sometimes, the only way to keep a job is to stay quiet; I’ll leave that discernment up to you. But I may keep asking, “At what price?” Perhaps this is a question you’ll keep asking yourself?

We can protest something that doesn’t feel right or fair without being a jerk about it. We can also circle back after a bout of letting it rip to clean or clear up anything that might need mopping up. Sometimes, a truth teller in any group or organization clears some mighty stale air. If you become more of a truth teller, perhaps everyone in your midst will breathe a bit better!

It’s probably rare that our choices are binary. Nonetheless, if you have to choose between the joy that can emerge by speaking up versus the deadening effect of conflict-avoidant, dutiful behavior, at which end of the spectrum would you like to fall?

My wish for you is to experience the joy implicit in finding your true everything. And that might mean you have to let it rip, occasionally.

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Front Cover of Assembling a Life by Martha Clark ScalaFront Cover of Assembling a Life by Martha Clark Scala

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Pictured Above

A recent collage inviting us to reveal our true selves.

Prompts For Joy

Click here for a breakfast-time delight.

Click here to see how a performance problem birthed a performer.

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.

Mark Your Calendars, SF Bay Area Readers!

Found Words, Found Wisdom: How Writing a Memoir Helped Me Discover That Happenstance is More Than Mere Coincidence

I will be the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of California Writers Club – SF/Peninsula Branch on Saturday, January 18, 2020. The meeting is from 10am to Noon. Stay tuned for more information.