Today it’s on my heart to encourage you to speak. About what, you ask. That, my love, doesn’t matter. Just speak. Make some noise. Release what’s tormenting you. The world hungers for your unique voice. Hell, I want to hear you, too. I NEED to hear you. What are you holding on to, and why? Don’t fear judgment or retaliation. It’s a threat that rarely manifests.
Share yourself with the world around you. As a group, my colleagues and I discussed the book, The Spirituality of Imperfection. And in doing so, we discussed the importance of storytelling. Not only does it act as a form of release and tool of healing for you, it allows a bridge in which others’ experiences intersect with yours. It builds community, and helps bring others to a place of restoration. It isn’t necessary that I’ve experienced exactly what you have, or that you and I have endured the same pain (addiction, abuse, depression, etc.). The window to light is in the intersections of the soul, and the feelings that our respective journeys have generated. Isolation, fear, humiliation, anger, relief, mercy, laughter, love. We can all participate in that. We have all marched or stepped lightly down these paths. As such, we can all be both blessed and supported by personally offering our perspectives and stories to the world around us.
Share your self; your authentic, fractured, ever-fighting, confused, and brilliant self. Realize I’m talking to myself here, too. I grow fearful, and ashamed of exposing my past (and even my present) feelings and especially my behaviors. Betty don’t always behave, ya’ll. And ironically, I am the most afraid of sharing my true self with the ones I trust the most. But I’ve found in every instance, pushing through the resistance and letting someone in, has built a bridge between me and another brave soul in this world.
Finding the safe space is often the challenge. As I grow older, my circle of trust gets smaller and smaller. As women, we are often taught to not trust other women. There is a learned, often false, threat of cattiness and deception that further feeds our tendency to keep our stories to ourselves. And while yes, there’s some raggedy chicks out there, I know there are far more good and authentic women than not. They may not look or speak the way I do, but they breathe, bleed, cry and struggle like I do. If I let the number of times I take a risk to speak my truth at least match the number of times I clam up, I will have grown exponentially this year. And I am encouraged to think of the relationships that may form out of speaking up.
You don’t have to represent your race, gender, class, or faith. Start with representing yourself. Speak your truth.
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.