Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sacred Sunday: I will not be Silenced

I want to feel safe on the page. Really, I want to feel safe everywhere. Don’t you? I have not felt particularly safe lately. I have so much I want to voice, and still I hesitate. I long to be seen and understood for who I am. I wonder if that is an impossible task to ask. I know it really is, especially since I am the one who knows myself the best and there are still many doors of unopened rooms in my life. Nonetheless, I long for safety, understanding and a strong voice.

Lately, I have been highly aware that people often choose to see others through their limited experience and have little curiosity towards a fuller view. But I am who I am because of ALL my experiences. I can be totally present to a single person because of all the others who have gone before. I can know his/her abandonment, because I have been abandoned. I will fight to stay, because I was left. I will hold, because I was not held. I seek clarity, because I have been misunderstood. I choose to see, because I was not seen.

My heart shares joy, because it is full and it has been emptied. I know a whole range of emotions and whether I like it or not they become real through experience, instead of staying abstract. My heart knows deep roots. I seek this alongside others, because I seek it for myself. I offer care, because I know the importance of self-care. I also know its absence. I know the pain of sorrow and what it is like to sob until I cannot breathe – to pound a chest and wail a primal scream until the wind has left my lungs and only sorrow remains.

I know the freedom of belly-laughing until snot runs out my nose and burns my nostrils making me cry “ouch” and then I roll over and laugh some more. I know the freedom of music filling my body and lifting me off the ground. I also know the weight of paralysis because the voice of my timid fool speaks loudest and commands me to stay where I am even when I yearn to dance.

I am perfectly equipped to listen and because of my humanity, I am equally equipped to fail. But I am strong and tenacious and I will get up again and again, because failure has not worked for me. It has instead taught me to be stronger. It is only a failure if I choose to stay down and let “it” win. I can choose to transform my failures – my weaknesses – my hurts. Failure wins if I choose to silence myself. Today I say, “NO, I will not be silenced.” Not in this moment – hopefully not ever.

On this sacred day, I wonder where are the places you long to feel safe? What is the voice that keeps you from living fully? How will you choose to speak? Perhaps in the smallest prayer, that says “Help!” Perhaps by taking the first step onto the dance floor of your longings. I hope you will join with me today and say for yourself, “No, I will not be silenced!”

14 comments:

Tess said...

Wonderful, heartfelt post.

My current problem is different: not that I feel silenced, but that I don't know what noise I need to make or what words I need to say. No doubt they will come clear.

lucy said...

tess--the noise in my head is anything but silent and sorting through to see "what noise i need to make" rings true for me also.

Karen said...

This post is a throbbing heartbeat, vibrating with emotion. You are such an eloquent writer...

I'd like to feel safe outside my home, to mix it up with those around me, being my most absolutest me, and appreciated all the while...instead I go out and feel invisible...I want to shout "I am here, I am here!"...not heard, not seen...

Abbey of the Arts said...

Beautiful words lucy, I resonate with so much. Love this especially on this brilliant morning: "I can know his/her abandonment, because I have been abandoned. I will fight to stay, because I was left. I will hold, because I was not held. I seek clarity, because I have been misunderstood. I choose to see, because I was not seen."

My struggle right now is also having too much I want to voice, and needing some more silence to sift and allow what is most true to rise.

lucy said...

karen--there is such warmth that comes through regarding your home and heart. i pray you will be able to step into the world and be truly seen!

yes, abbey--i spent some much needed time in silence today which allowed these words to bubble up. i look forward to creating more space for truth to rise. xoxox

kigen said...

Lucy,

This is one of the first citations I posted (on 9/14) to my new website called THE FEMINIST SHEPHERD. It speaks overwhelmingly to my own experience, and at the same time, seems almost to answer your every word.

by Beverly Lanzetta from
Radical Wisdom: a Feminist Mystical Theology

"Constituted by a particular apophatic (*) spiritual process of emptying and letting go, the dark night of the feminine is simultaneously embodied and transcendent. Premised on an understanding that in women's spirituality there is a discovery of a deeper core of consciousness, the night of the feminine reaches down into women's soul wounds and lifts them up to the silence that heals. Women cannot simply reject, trivialize or suspend internalized feelings of worthlessness or pain; nor can they easily transcend or trivialize them. Rather the women mystics illustrate that they must live out these wounds – confronting, feeling, naming and transforming them through the divine spark within the sanctuary of the self."
___ ___ ___
(*) apophatic: (of knowledge of God) obtained through negation

Sue said...

Oh, I so resonate with this post, Lucy. I LOVE what you say here, especially what Abbey quoted.

I am OFTEN feeling unsafe these days. I was just complaining to someone about how easy it is for others to chop you down if they perceive paradoxes in your surmising. And it pisses me off because there are paradoxes in everything, and to presume that I cannot hold to X because I also hold to Y and also a little bit of P and occasionally some C which is totally contradictory to X (presumably) ... well, that makes me feel uneasy. I want to be real about what I think (I am talking here about on the page, electronic and paper). But it makes me feel horribly unsafe and vulnerable to speak contradictions though they are truths.

I would like to feel safe in a small Christian community where I can be myself and that is not all institutional and gooberly and tied to the schedule. That's my hope.

Kel said...

may your voice be strong
and sure

may your heart be courageous
and secure

may you find
that which you seek

Barbara said...

I wish I had the art of speaking my mind without hurting the feelings of others. I speak my own truth, my own feelings and, too often, get attacked. I could use a bit more of silence.

Sue said...

Really, Barbara? I love the way you express yourself online. I don't think I have ever once thought ever, "Sheesh, wish that bloody Barbara would just shut up."

But I guess online is easier than offline, huh :) I speak my own truth and klunk it over other people without realising sometimes. It's rather annoying

Barbara said...

Thank you, Sue. I am more self-conscious online, I guess. I have been considered temperamental by some; a few months ago someone excoriated me in front of friends (without giving my name) because I disagreed with him on an issue. I sat through it all with a Mona Lisa smile. I bite my tongue all the time among certain people to keep from hurting feelings. Maybe it is being a New Yorker in Canada!

lucy said...

kigen- your post blew me away. it almost feels like it was wandering around in my subconscious when i wrote this post. i hope to be over to spend some time at your site very soon. i have been away from my favorite blogs too much lately. sigh. thank you for sharing your wisdom!

sue-- i cannot imagine how i ever tried to navigate life without paradox!! hang in there, friend!

kel--thank you for those lovely, strong words. i am blessed by them. xox

barbara--it sounds to me like you are hanging around some pretty thin-skinned folks. i hope you will always speak your truth. it is something i deeply admire about you! peace.

Rebecca Johnson said...

Lucy, Been thinking a lot about your post. It made me contemplate on all of the places in my life where I HAVE been heard and I am aware of how uncommon it really is. I know that you and many of the people that read your posts are dedicated listeners, here in the blogosphere and in our other lives. I am deeply grateful for those who have heard me and who have attempted to see me for my truest self. (It often happens in retreat circles, doesn't it? And I know that you facilitate groups of listening.) Thank you so much for continuing to find your voice and for encouraging all of us to courageously do the same.

Carmen said...

your post is my post!
Amen!
this is one to read again and again!
Thank you!
and no, i won't be silenced!
and better, we are together on this ;-)