Speak Your Truth, Always

It Is Yours To…

truth“Speak the truth and speak it ever, cost it what it will.”

Those of you who know me personally might find it hard to imagine me as a skinny, long-legged child with ponytails but that I was, at least for a while. The memories of those days came to me this past week when I read a text message received from someone who I have no real relationship with. So, I promptly ignored it as I have learned very well how to stand in my truth.

This is another of my evergreen posts – ones that were shared before but remain fundamentally true. The opening remains the same as it did 11 years ago when it was first written and you are invited to take this trip down memory lane with me.

Truth Speaking

Growing up in a country, Jamaica, where dishonesty often seems the best policy; where some ‘bad guys’ drive the best cars, have the biggest houses and wear designer clothing, one could forgive me if my relationships were marked by trickery and deceit.

“Speak the truth and speak it ever” is something we would say to each other on the school grounds when a friend was caught in a lie. Today, speaking the truth, speaking my truth, is such a part of who I am. However, sometimes I cannot help feeling that honesty is a dirty word and will join my growing list of ‘difficult words,’ which include ‘responsibility’ and ‘surrender’. I often journey with through the labyrinth called life consciously attempting to unravel the mystery of honesty and search for reasons to “Speak your truth even with knees sharing.” Often, very often in fact, I draw strength from works of several persons who over the years have provided me with sustenance:

There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter. Norman Cousins

You Will Meet Someone

truthOne of my earliest examples of how to speak your truth to the person who it matters most to – yourself – is a woman who I met between the pages of a book almost 16 years ago. I had never heard of her until a friend, who knew her and who was familiar with my journey introduced us. Meeting this woman, albeit through her writings, was for me, using a phrase that Oprah made commonplace – an “Aha moment.” Actually, it was much more than that. I wept. Hardly surprising, you might say, since the title of one of her earliest books that I read is “Yesterday, I Cried.” My tears, however, were more that of a mother grieving the loss of her only child. They rose from the pit of my belly, busted through my ribs and threatened to choke me. Iyanla Vanzant wrote my story and she guided me along the path of telling my truth. Every challenge, grief, feeling of defeat and hopelessness, every moment of joy and hope she described in her life, I recognized myself within them.

When the tears stopped flowing and my breathing settled to its normal pace, I literally started to write my story for myself. One day I will share with you the full details in one place (or book), not today, because the journey continues. Through Vanzant’s truth telling, however, I was able to start speaking my own. Yes, there were opportunities before and I did try to on occasions, but I was running scared as so many doors had slammed in my face when my truth was revealed.

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Growing up in a culture where the primary folk hero was a trickster spider named Anancy, who used any means necessary to have his way, one can understand how easy my retreat to telling tales and hiding my truth became. Bredda’ Anansi, as young and old affectionately call him, came to Jamaica on the boat that brought the first slaves from West Africa. Soon after his arrival, he “went into business as the only therapy for three centuries of hideousness.” Over the years, I saw firsthand how many others would do the same and eventually it became that honesty was not necessarily the best policy. The women with whom I grew up struggled hard to put food on the table, while the men “wild” their time away with many mistresses.

Politicians, both male and female, were not much different. They practiced the craft of trickery to such a degree that the country has been brought to the brink of financial disaster on several occasions – to this day.  As I looked to the church for inspiration, as deep inside me I felt that something was missing, a form of truth was preached but not Truth that is unblemished by corruption and self-aggrandizement. With sinking heart, I walked away from the church.

1980’s in Kiev, U.S.S.R.

However, grace is a strange thing. Reflecting on my journey thus far, it must have been grace that carried me through high school and later university in the Ukraine. It must have been grace that held me in her arms and brought me through the trauma of a terribly abusive marriage. Surely, it must have been grace that eased the agony and despair I felt when I lost my first child, a son. Most certainly, it was grace that gave me the opportunities to embark on various and varied career paths and develop the relationships and friendships that I did. Yet, despite these achievements and moments of pleasure,back in those days there remained a longing for something more.

I know some of you reading this will think that what I was missing was some good old religion in my life. Frankly, that was not my thought, even when I entered the hall of the Universal Centre of Truth for Better Living and heard that fiery minister “speak the word,” and was touched to the core of my being. If you must know, the Divine was there all along – I just could not say Her name, and that is where Vanzant stepped in. You see Source is Truth and unless you can “speak the truth and speak it ever,” something will always be missing. It goes beyond that – you have to live in the way of Truth, find the sacred in your life and that is even more difficult.

Truth-Telling Is A Daily Task

Since my first reading of Vanzant’s many books, I have had tumultuous years of speaking and living my truth. Doors closed in my face; people turned away from my honesty. Many a times there were when I was very tempted to throw my compassion out the window. There were many opportunities to hide my truth, hide what enliven my soul and play the game of trickery. Those were the times when the pain of truth-telling was so great that it seemed safer to keep my mouth shut.

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In those moments, I remind myself of these words from Everyday Tao: Living With Balance and Harmony:

Life hurts. Life is painful. Life is suffering.
There is nothing in life that does not involve trial.
There is nothing worthwhile that doesn’t have a cost.
Yet, we must go on.

So, this I know is true that through the pain and as some doors close such as the one that closed on my last job and the one that I closed on the sender of the disingenuous text message last week, we must all continue to speak our personal truths and stay honest to Truth – cost it what it will. That is how we care for our souls and according to Thomas Moore, if we do so “faithfully, every day, we step out of the way and let our full genius emerge.”

truthMaybe you have seen her on television or on her social media channels as Iyanla Vanzant is famous now, a celebrity as we like to say. You might however have not read the words from that life-changing poem that helped me to start living boldly. Have a read, and do sign-up and be part of our community, living our lives and speaking our truth today and every day moving forward.

Yesterday, I Cried
By Iyanla Vanzant

Yesterday, I cried.
I came home, went straight to my room, sat on the edge of my bed,
Kicked off my shoes, unhooked my bra,
and I had myself a good cry.

I’m telling you,
I cried until my nose was running all over the silk blouse I got on sale.
I cried until my ears were hot.
I cried until my head was hurting so bad that
I could hardly see the pile of soiled tissues lying on the floor at my feet.

I want you to understand,
I had myself a really good cry yesterday.

Yesterday, I cried,
for all the days that I was too busy, or too tired, or too mad to cry.
I cried for all the days, and all the ways,
and all the times I had dishonoured, disrespected, and disconnected my Self from myself,
only to have it reflected back to me in the ways others did to me,
the same things I had already done to myself.

I cried because there really does come a time when the only thing left
for you to do is cry.

Yesterday, I cried.
I cried because I hurt. I cried because I was hurt.
I cried because hurt has no place to go
except deeper into the pain that caused it in the first place,
and when it gets there, the hurt wakes you up.

I cried because it was too late. I cried because it was time.
I cried because my soul knew that I didn’t know
that my soul knew everything I needed to know.

I cried a soulful cry yesterday, and it felt so good.
It felt so very, very bad.

In the midst of my crying, I felt freedom coming,
Yesterday, I cried
with an agenda.


Claudette P. Esterine


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48 thoughts on “Speak Your Truth, Always

  1. What a powerful message Claudette, thank you.

    I always do my best to speak my truth. And when doing so, it is important to remember to be kind.

    Too many people use the excuse of speaking their truth without considering their delivery method and end up burning bridges and hurting people.

    You can always find a way to speak your truth while being kind 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Absolutely you can but on the other hand, you cannot be responsible for how people interpret what you say. No matter how kindly you say something, if misinterpreted there is nothing you can do about that.

  2. Beautiful post! I actually am going through something right now because I spoke my truth! Didn’t go over well. I have learned to not keep it in because we suffer. My mother always says the truth only hurts if it should!

  3. Ana

    Truth is always better, even though it can cause you some troubles if you dont know how to share it.

  4. Honesty is the best policy! This is a great post

  5. Great post Claudette. Definitely need to speak the truth as nothing good ever comes out of not. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for visiting Stephanie! Yes, it is most certainly better and easier to tell the truth always.

  6. If you want the truth, ask a child. I find as we get older the more we want to sugar coat things in fear of hurting others.
    Marielle Altenor recently posted…Easy Fried Rice RecipeMy Profile

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is so right – that children will tell you nothing but the truth! Sugar coating I used to do but not anymore, granted I will choose my words carefully and make sure that my intention is never to cause harm just because I can. Thanks for joining the conversation Marielle. 🙂

  7. Being truthful is always good. Not everyone wants to hear the real truth though. Some like living in a fantasy.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, fantasy is easier to them than the truth. Valid point Krystle. Thanks for the input and the visit. 🙂

  8. People like to hear only what they want to hear and if its their truth, they are happy if its something they dont wish to hear you are the bad guy. I like to speak my truth and I dont mind what people think of me…thats their business!

    1. Ms Claudette

      That’s their business indeed – has nothing to do with me or you, Julie! LOL. 🙂

  9. Honesty is the most important thing it not only makes you trust worthy but it also takes a lot of your stress off

    1. Ms Claudette

      Exactly as you do not have to remember which lies you told to whom! 🙂

  10. I believe truth is important. Relationships built upon honesty are the most powerful.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, they most certainly right Jenn! 🙂

  11. I try to always speak the truth, I think you are quite an unusual person if you always speak to truth. I say this because sometimes the truth is so hurtful we tend to think about peoples feelings over the truth I think!

    1. Ms Claudette

      I think you are thinking on point Tamason! Thanks for that perspective and your visit. 🙂

  12. It’s always good to speak the truth. Building up the trust is always essential in any relationship.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are so right on that and trust is the missing ingredient in many relationships – of all types.

  13. I have come to the realization that people do not like honesty. Many say they do but most prefer to be politically correct and man that makes me want to just scream. Level with me and let me deal with it, I prefer that. Speak the truth (in love) even if it hurts because tell you what that will only hurt for a while.
    The problem is, many cannot handle the truth so we also need to know when to speak the truth and who to speak it to. I tell people all the time, do not ask me if you do not want to hear the truth because I do not have the headspace for the nonsense anymore.
    Fashionable Librarian recently posted…Ruby Bridges – Then and NowMy Profile

    1. Ms Claudette

      You cannot give what you do have and you most certainly cannot receive what you have no room to contain. That is the bottom line when it comes to liars.

  14. Laurie

    It’s very true. It’s good to be honest and can feel uplifting.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Oh yes it most certainly is Laurie! 🙂

  15. Laci

    Live this and I always try to stand by my truth

    1. Ms Claudette

      Welcome to the club! 🙂

  16. It is worth to read. Thanks for sharing the truth!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome and thank you for visiting. 🙂

  17. Its true sometimes people can’t handle honesty, I have been attacked for being too honest to the extent that think to myself what is even the point of opening my mouth?

    1. Ms Claudette

      Again I hear you Ana but I have learned not to allow anyone to silence me. I might decide not to say anything or respond but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. 🙂

  18. Elizabeth O.

    I have trust issues and I never want to be lied to. That’s why I also make it a point to never lie and always be honest. It sounds too good to be true, until you do it.

    1. Ms Claudette

      No, I hear you Elizabeth, I hear you.

  19. Speaking the truth is hard! Such a great post, thank you!

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome and thank you for visiting. 🙂

  20. Wow, it sounds like you’ve got a lot to say and if you ever do write it, it will help lots of people. Thanks for sharing.
    Heather recently posted…Spring Cleaning: Don’t Forget your Drapes, Blinds and Window TreatmentsMy Profile

  21. Truth telling is a daily task. Interesting book.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It indeed is Starla, it indeed is. 🙂

  22. I understand.
    I have been trying for honesty and truth. It has been hard.
    But harder because of the trust I put in my mother and with hopes of a honest relationship and it was destroyed as she went away and turn her mouth and heart as a sword against me with my sister.

    But now I must still be strong and honest and continue with truth.

    I pray that God will help my heart. To take away any deceit.
    It’s tough.

    Thanks for sharing.

    As a Jamaican, I do understand exacty what you are saying

    1. Ms Claudette

      There you go Colette, telling my story! 🙂 My mother did the same thing to me as you mentioned here and it is one of the hardest thing you ever have to deal with. I do stand in the gap with you on this. Namaste. 🙂

  23. Beautifully written from your heart, then and now. I’m going to say something that may seem shocking but underneath all our truths is a lie. Meaning there is always something not said that may be contrary to the truth, maybe not distinguished. And we all lie whether we want to face it or not. We should not put morality & righteousness into this concept of truth vs lie. It’s a fascinating topic.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, it is indeed a fascinating topic and the perspective that you have shared is even more so. It is not one that I share but I do understand what you are saying – contrasts, nothing is ever black or white etc. Thank you for that Roslyn and your visit. 🙂

  24. Speaking the truth is something I try to do. This book sounds like a good one to read.
    tara pittman recently posted…Discover New Airy And Light Scents With Renuzit® Sensitive Scents & A GiveawayMy Profile

    1. Ms Claudette

      Check it out Tara and let me know what you think.

  25. Amazing share. Thank you for your expression of truth.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Lori! 🙂

  26. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I always speak the truth, which is why I don’t have a lot of friends. Most people can’t handle it.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I hear you on that Robin, I hear you. 🙂

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