Say What You Need To Say Today

blog pic1-1Every now and again the obsessive side of my nature shows up and I’ll get stuck on a song and play it over and over and over while on my commute to work. To the point where the song skips a beat because…well, I think it’s grown tired of itself and really really wants to go to the next track.

At least that’s the way I imagine it.

Lately, the song my obsessive self I have been playing over and over again is  “Say What You Need To Say ” by John Mayer.

When it came out years ago, I thought it was awfully repetitive. Eighty percent of the song repeats the same lyric, the title, “Say what you need to say…”

Say what you need to say.

But recently, I pulled out my CD and listened to it in an entirely different way. I appreciated the repetition…it felt like encouragement, like spiritual coaching, truth telling.

Say what you need to say.

All of the supporting lyrics touch on how hard it is for us to sometimes say what we need to say.

So, what are we not saying? What old shadows are keeping us stuck living out the same old stories because we didn’t speak up or didn’t say what we needed or wanted?

How scared are we to tell the truth? The truth about who we are, what we need, what we believe? How afraid are we to be vulnerable and express our authentic selves in relationships, at work, or with family or friends?

Many of us live with this ache, this yearning to be authentic, to say what we need to say. About the big things. About the small things.

But we’re afraid. We’re afraid to disappoint. Or we’re afraid of the consequences of sharing who we are, what we need, what we like, what we don’t like.

Because there are always consequences to truth telling. It can be scary.

Too often we swallow our words, our ideas, our truthful expression of who we are. But, we can learn something from Mr.Mayer.

WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY, THE TEACHER WILL APPEAR.  (Of course I never thought it would be John Mayer.)

I like what he has to say. I like his approach: speak up, say what you need to say.

And here’s what I’d add. Do it with love, do it fearlessly, express, express. Because if we suppress, suppress — our words, our dreams, our inspiration –we become bitter. Sick even. Why? Because when we don’t speak up, when we don’t say what we need to say, when we don’t follow our guidance even, we betray ourselves. And our soul knows it.

So if this song resonates with you for any of the reasons I mentioned, consider John Mayer’s advice. And say what you need to say.

Say What You Need To Say video

If you’re interested in more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace, particularly at midlife, read my book Tao Flashes.  Or visit me at or on twitter @taoflashes.



8 thoughts on “Say What You Need To Say Today

  1. Hi Lisa! I always did like that song even if it was repetitive. And it wasn’t until I recently read this book “Thirty Lessons For Living” and wrote a blog post about “regrets” that I discovered that “Say what you need to say before it’s too late” was one of the top five recommendations that over 1,200 seniors (average age 78) gave to avoid regrets at the end of a person’s life. The book has been out a few years so who knows whether the song or the book came first….but it is ALWAYS a good reminder to say what we need to say. ~Kathy

  2. So important to remember. I like to live by this principal..but sometimes it either comes out wrong, or the person is not ready to hear it. That’s when it becomes problematic. Then what, I wonder?

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