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Are You Brave Enough To Express Your Truth?

Lissa Rankin's picture


I love the irony of life. The interconnectedness of us all. That I can be working on a thing and someone else can be thinking on a thing. Even before being prompted by my friend Chris Guillebeau’s blog post There’s A Letter You Need To Write, I had already written a letter this week.  It was the kind of vulnerable letter you think about writing - maybe you even start it a few times and wind up crumbling it up or deleting it - but the act of actually getting the words right and then licking the stamp or hitting “Send” feels too daunting. So you put it off. You chicken out. You don’t do it.

But then that person never knows. Misunderstandings propagate. You second guess. The other person misinterprets. You make choices without explaining your actions. Confusion lingers.  Opportunity is lost. Regrets ensue.

It’s the stuff of tragedies.

What will happen if you send the letter?

Maybe nothing. Maybe you’ll never get a reply after baring your soul and laying your heart, quivering and naked, on the proverbial line.

Maybe your heart will break.  Maybe you’ll be disappointed. Maybe she won’t want what you want. Maybe "he’s just not that into you." Maybe you’ll feel rejected. Ignored. Embarrassed. Foolish.  Exposed. Raw.

That could happen.

But it’s just as likely to go the other way.  Maybe IT will happen. Confessions. Forgiveness. Healing. Resolution. Reconciliation. Passion. Magic. Miracles. Friendship. Ignition. Love.

In The End

As a physician who has watched many patients die, I’m here to tell you that, in the end, people don’t tell you about the deal they closed, the book they published, the big bucks they earned, the exotic travel, or even the visionary movement they started.

On their death bed, people tell you about the letter they never sent.

Today is a good day to die

As I wrote about here and as he wrote in his posthumous memoir Enjoy Every Sandwich, my friend Dr. Lee Lipsenthal spent years saying “Today is a good day to die.” His goal was to live every day as if it might be his last - free of regrets, every truth told, every love expressed, every resentment forgiven. So when he died prematurely, his wish came true. When we gathered at his memorial to celebrate him, it was clear that Lee never wrote a letter he didn’t send.

When we stuff it

Expressing your truth is preventative medicine. When you stuff it, when you hide your love or let resentments fester, the body translates this into physical symptoms, a gnawing in your stomach, diarrhea, nausea, back pain, tension in your shoulders, a headache. The body speaks to you in whispers, and if you ignore the whispers and still fail to live your truth, the body begins to yell.

Living your truth is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts. Sometimes, it hurts. But what’s the alternative? Do you want to be that person on her death bed confessing her truth to her doctor?

I didn’t think so.

I’m still nervous

The person to whom I wrote my letter has yet to respond, so I don’t know how this story will turn out. But I’m super proud of myself for having the courage to write the uncensored version of the letter - and then send it.  Even if taking the risk means losing someone I care about, I’ll choose that over keeping my truth bottled up.

So what about you?

Are you brave enough to write that letter?

Now is the time.

Still doing the best I can to be unapologetically ME,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Revolutionarymotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.



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Lissa Rankin's picture

I'm so super proud of you, brave ones!

Yes, it can be painful. But I never regret opening my heart and sharing my truth. And really- I think it's prevented me from getting sick like I used to.

Cheryl, I love how your problems magically disappeared when you came out as a woman and started living in alignment with your truth. Brava, girl!

Much love to you all

Sarah's picture

Wow this is such odd timing,

Wow this is such odd timing, I just wrote a letter last Friday and chickened out giving it when I saw the person on Sunday and thought well maybe its not that important, they aren't a person that expresses their feelings to much so maybe theyll just think I'm weird and sentimental. I think, now, that I'll give it :)

Sarah's picture

Wow this is such odd timing,

Wow this is such odd timing, I just wrote a letter last Friday and chickened out giving it when I saw the person on Sunday and thought well maybe its not that important, they aren't a person that expresses their feelings to much so maybe theyll just think I'm weird and sentimental. I think, now, that I'll give it :)

Cheryl's picture

Living My Truth

YES, a very resounding yes. Six years ago I began my transition. I began living my truth, openly, honestly, as the woman I felt that I was and am. I have found my place in the world, my home. It feels damn good. Ironically so many of my problems "disappeared". I continue to be amazed at just how important, significant, living my truth has been and IS.

Brenda's picture

Your thought that living our

Your thought that living our truth takes guts so resonates with me. For nearly a decade I refused to live the truth of what my heart and mind knew was essential. The result was high blood pressure, depression, weight gain, and a host of other mental, emotional, and physical problems. Taking the risk has broken that cycle, and although it has not been without its own pain, it was a risk worth taking and I am a healthier person as a result. Thank you for expressing this so beautifully and honestly. I'm glad I found your blog!

Rebecca's picture

I did this recently - only I

I did this recently - only I did it in person rather than a letter. I was so scared, but I also knew that if I didn't do it, I would regret it forever.

I was rejected (over the course of several months, while he made a decision), and it hurt, a lot. I cried a lot of tears (huddled on the kitchen floor for hours, in the bath, in my bed, dramatics on the street . . . ).

But, I don't regret it for one second. I took a chance, I opened my heart, I was willing to risk everything for love.

My openheart will stay with me for life. And I trust that I will find someone who will see it and embrace it.

Hadley Gustin's picture

Living Your Truth Is the Only Way to Live

Such a great message, Lissa! I truly believe, as well, that living your truth each and every day is the only way to truly live. When we don't, energy stagnates, ailing symptoms come on and we lose touch with our inner guidance system. However, when we embrace fear with both arms and vow to do the things we want anyways, we have miracle breakthroughs of growth and happiness. It sounds a lot easier than it is, but by releasing the thoughts that hold us back and allowing those feelings of joy to come through regardless, we move forward in life.

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