In January 2015, I decided I needed to pick an anthem song for the coming year. A song that inspired me to live the life I wanted. A song that had the ability to lift me out of the dull days. The song I picked was Brave, by Sara Bareilles. I knew that I had BIG DREAMS. BIG DREAMS come with BIG LESSONS and BIG CHALLENGES. I knew that I was going to have to go ALL in to achieve these dreams, I have gone BIG! I have tackled every challenge that has come with a bravery I never knew I had but there was an even bigger reason I picked the song Brave. It was because of this one lyric.
“And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?”
I am good at being silent. I am good at being the good girl, so no one is mad or god forbid uncomfortable. I thought this was my place in the world. The problem was I never felt like I belonged there. I felt like an imposter because everyone else seemed okay keeping secrets and lying.
Everyone said everything was fine, with a drink in their hand.
Everyone said she has a lovely heart, just don’t make her mad.
Everyone said just keep it secret and he will stop hurting you.
Keep silent OR they will know just how damaged and unlovable you are.
Just keep quiet, keep the secrets, and for god sake don’t tell the truth. After all you want to be a good girl, right?! Yes, my mouth said, but my soul SCREAMED…
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO
I found ways to silence my voice for years, eating disorders, you name it I have done it. I couldn’t starve, binge, purge, or binge long enough to silence it. I have smoked. Just put the cigarette in your mouth, killing yourself is better than speaking the truth. Kill yourself before you hurt someone, this is what silence taught me.
None of this means I was a mouse. Oh, I screamed and when I did, it was loud and scary. There I was laying on some floor trying to find some way to stop talking. Now, I was screaming truth and I was screaming it filled with obscenities and trying to cut whoever I was screaming at as deep as I could. This is what happens when you are silent too long. You become sharp and no one is safe from your words. Any words you have said are only butter knives compared to swords of words you have said to yourself. No one could possible image the conversations of hate you have had with yourself because what kind of person can’t keep quiet and let people keep believing what they want to believe? You are despicable, horrible, rotten, shameful, and unworthy.
“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is”
There was a way out of the cage. It started with telling my truth, all of it no matter what, no matter who said be quiet. It started saying no, I don’t want to go there? I don’t want to eat that? It was learning that no, was a word and an explanation all to itself. It meant saying I will not lie to you or for you. I can’t tell you how many times over the course of this year, people I love have said, do you really need to share everything? Why don’t you water down your truth so that is is a little more palatable? Can’t you keep some things private?
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO
It meant that I would stop keeping secrets, people would be mad, I would lose people that I loved but I would gain so much more.
I FOUND MY VOICE.
I FOUND ME.
I AM BRAVE!
I know how scary it is to start talking, to start telling your truth. I also acknowledge that my truth may not be yours. Your memories of events may be different and that is okay. I am not saying you are wrong. I am saying this is my story, of how events transpired. How I lived and transformed in the mud and how I am learning to dance with glitter all around. On days when I am tempted to reenter the mud of silence I look around and see the glitter catching the sun and I am reminded:
This Is BRAVE,
THIS IS Me,
It may be time for you to find your voice. I promise you it is the most beautiful sound you will ever hear. I hear you whispering and I believe you!
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