7.3 Editor's Pick
October 30, 2021

The Surprising Gifts we Receive (& Give to Others) When we have Hard Conversations.

Sometimes we know exactly what we want to say, but we just can’t say it.

We may be scared of how people will react. We are experiencing the fear of being vulnerable. But why?

When we speak our truth, something magical happens. We release the knowing inside (Thanks, Glennon Doyle.) because really we know what we want. That’s what I’m learning lately.

Taking time to know what we want can be difficult.

Learning to listen in a world of constant distractions is hard. The art is to take your time and let your body tell you. After all, we should be choosing what we want for ourselves and not living through other people’s expectations of us.

I spent a long time living how I thought others wanted me to.

Eighteen years ago, I had the courage to choose a path that was considered different at the time, even though it was never a choice. Being gay pre-internet was difficult There were no out and proud examples to follow or to understand why I was feeling this way.

I knew deep down inside how I felt, but I struggled to say it and worried about rejection. I opted for the easier path at the time which was to hide it. Ironically, what I thought was the easy option actually ended up being the hardest thing to live with.

I spent 15 years being in the darkness and not really living freely with those closest to my family. It felt like I was always looking over my shoulder and waiting to get called out.

Then one day at the age of 33, I decided no more. The feeling and desire to live freely came to the surface. I was traveling on a train, while the tears rolled down my cheeks playing out what I was going to say. I knew these words had to be expressed.

I was impatient and determined to get the hard conversation over and done with. And when my moment came to speak, I broke down in tears.

‘”I need to tell you something. I’m gay.” And my mother’s response: “I know, and your dad went to his grave knowing.”

The weight lifted. Fifteen years of the easy option (turned into the heaviest burden) had finally lifted.

I felt confused and wondered why hadn’t anyone ever asked me?

Then I learned the most important lesson in my life so far: people tell you how they feel when they’re ready, and creating space for another to do that is really important.

I’m learning in life that timing is everything. The importance of how we feel about ourselves, when we know enough is enough, and just when we are ready for more.

It does all come down to timing, however, when we say our truth out loud, we realize it’s not that scary.

Hearted by


You’ll be surprised what expressing how you feel can do for yourself and others. I’m lucky enough that my relationship with my mum has become the best it’s ever been. I feel like I have come home in more ways than one. The strength it has given me to have her genuine acceptance has been transformational.

It’s better to be honest than to live with something eating away at you.

At the age of 36, I’m still learning. I strongly believe that taking time to reflect and listen to your inner voice is key.

We know what we want if we allow ourselves the space and time to listen to how we feel. Life, at the end of the day, is short, and we should live free of our own choosing and not be guided by what we think we should be doing.

We can’t spend our lives living for someone else.

A beautiful life of blue sky awaits when we accept ourselves for who we are and find the courage to say what we want. But sometimes we just need to take some time to figure it out and let our voice bubble up to the surface.

We always get to where we need to be, so take your time and always go for what you want.


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Kate Baker  |  Contribution: 300

author: Kate Bake

Image: Author's own

Editor: Brooke Mundell