Authentic Expresssion

Over the last five years, I have learned how to create space between the thoughts and emotions and the responding words/actions so that I may maintain an inner peace and not be driven by my knee jerk reactions or by those knee jerk reactions of others - to be able to see the patterns and tune into what's going on beneath the surface. However, I find myself growing in the awareness that I have become all too good at choosing words and actions carefully so as to keep me out of conflict. This isn't true peace it is a careful censoring of expression so that noone is upset by my that I then don't have to sit through this conflict as I know that peace does not remain long within when I am in a confrontational situation...I just cry =)...not so much an angry girl - more an emotional one that doesn't take well to direct confrontation. So thus, I have learned to tune in deeply to the shifts in a conversation and walked that edge of expression that will keep things comfortable...fine line between choosing peace and squelching authentic expression...and I must wonder what I am robbing of not just myself but others. I reached a point where I felt I could handle anyone's way of being with me - I could just step back and watch it all from a completely non-emotional way and not feel as though the "I" was actually involved in what was happening...this too seems inauthentic...more ways to not feel conflict and to receive what it may teach me. How do I step through this and find my way to authentic expression - is the only way that I must just learn through experience...through being brave enough to express even when I know it will bring conflict and to just go through the fire of how that feels for me and in the moment find that thread of constancy - that peace underlying it all? Any perspective or thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!!! =)

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Thank you Mike for your perspective. There is definitely this part of me that has pulled away from responding out of discomfort with the outcome...though often I feel that silence can be the best need to defend or to explain. Just feeling my way...allowing those heartfelt responses to surface. Thank you for sharing this insight!