Vishuddha, or the throat chakra, is the fifth primary chakra associated with the action of speaking and hearing. It is believed in the Hindu tradition of tantra that this chakra can become blocked by a sense of guilt, or the inability to speak from one’s own heart.
I sat in a throat chakra meditation session last Sunday. It was not the first time I had experienced this meditation technique, and the group discussion on truthfulness afterwards was very similar to the one my group had when I was first taught the same technique in my own teacher training. Perhaps it was the benefit of having gone through such a conversation before, this time, I felt like an outsider listening in on the things that were being said in the group, and I found myself having a rather strong viewpoint that’s different from what the rest were wrestling with.
“I’m forced to lie”
As the group talked about how many of us have to withhold truths not out of free will, but because of circumstance, I saw a pattern of how when we talk about why we lie, we always place the blame on the other person. It makes me uncomfortable, because it seems we have a problem with taking ownership of our lying. Instead of saying “he won’t be able to take the truth” or “it’s not like they will change even if I said anything”, if we frame it as “I don’t want to hurt his feelings” or “I’m too powerless to convince them to make any changes”, I feel that even though it seems we are still saying the same things, it puts the onus on ourselves. This might look trivial or perhaps look like just picking on semantics, but stay with me.
Only by first taking ownership can we even begin to find a resolution. By framing those statements with us as the subject, we find ourselves in control and being able find a position to take. From “I don’t want to hurt his feelings”, we start to find a way to break the news in a gentler way. From “I’m too powerless to convince them to make any changes”, we begin to recognise what steps we can take to make a stronger case.
I know it’s all easier said than done. In fact, one of the things that can be done is not to do anything at all. Finding peace with ourselves is also an action that can be taken. If we recognise that we are unable to change someone, a relationship or an organisation, but we can be at peace with ourselves, I think that’s a good outcome too. More often than not, we feel that we need to do something, which adds to our own suffering when we find that we are helpless.