You may be unfamiliar with the whole concept of ‘the high road’, so I’d like to share my definition with you.
Contrary to the Oxford Dictionary which lists the definition as, “a morally superior approach toward something”, my version is “simply speaking your truth in a way that supports and encourages you and others”.
My concept begs that a question be answered first.
What does ‘speaking your truth’ mean? And perhaps before you are able to answer this, there is a prior question that is necessary, ‘what is true for you’?
Do you feel forced to respond to questions from others or situations you face in a certain manner? Do you feel compelled to stay within the expectations of those you’re talking to or interacting with?
These are very big questions, so it might take you a few minutes to answer.
For me, the temptation is to respond in a way I believe others will find favorable. It’s part of my people-pleasing personality. This of course does not serve me well and I’ve spent quite a bit of time shifting away from it, to approaches that do serve me. But every so often, I observe myself either responding this way or being tempted to.
It takes a lot to resist this immediate impulse and I am still lured into it, though much more aware than I used to be. I’m happy each time I catch myself because this means I’m growing.
Often it takes my full awareness to wait before I let my voice come to the surface and speak what feels like the truth, especially when I know it’s not what someone else wants or expects to hear.
For me, this is part of taking ‘the high road’.
I constantly coach myself to be sensitive to other versions of the truth, to acknowledge the potential value they may offer me, but not be overwhelmed by their expectations or speak half-truths in response.
It’s hard for me to confess/admit but I am not here to please others, although when I come from a place of love, this is often what happens.
Walking ‘the high road’ means several practical things to me.
It means searching for multiple answers instead of choosing the easiest one.
It means before acting, that I consider my choices and which one(s) represent who I am and who I want to be in this world.
It also means that, because so many others are important to me, that I take the time I need to feel comfortable with my decisions, realizing I want them to support me first and then others to the extent I am able.
And it means spending time looking inside myself and sensing where the path of love is guiding me.
I am aware enough now to recognize I can’t do all of this by myself.
I need help.
I believe we all need help.
Sometimes help comes from friends, or family or a wonderful counselor. Sometimes it comes from someone who challenges us or annoys us or threatens us. Despite how hard it is to recognize this; it is often still the truth.
And there is another source of aid. It’s one I speak of often, so you probably already know. It is the divine, by whatever name you use. For me, the presence of the divine is not theoretical. It’s personal and tangible and magnificent and only one request away. For me and I believe, for you, the presence of the divine is always waiting patiently, ready to support you, encourage you and love you.
So, a final part of the process of taking ‘the high road’ is talking with the divine and coming to know within myself what is the truth for me. It’s also what you can do if it feels right to you.