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!”