Have you ever been so afraid to speak your truth that the fear kept you from not speaking, or writing, or revealing it at all? Do you ever start sharing and then stop when a voice enters your head that says, “No. Don’t. It’s not safe?” or “Ugh, nobody cares anyway. Why even bother?”
Do you ever feel so convicted about truth, knowing it could help somebody, or just yourself if you let it out…and yet… you don’t?
Do you ever wish you had more boldness and less care about what other people think so that you could go on to say whatever you wanted, without limits or watering it down?
That fear, man. Fear of judgement. Fear of saying the wrong thing. Fear of being wrong! It’s stifling. It’s choosing to live small rather than large. It’s choosing to remain in safety rather than in risk. It’s choosing to dwell in darkness when right outside your door, there is light.
The fear, the judgement, the tense feeling right before you hit “send” or “publish” or “call” …whether you go through with it or not, has a very powerful purpose: it offers you a chance to forgive yourself.
Today I chose to tell a truth, even when I heard a voice in my head that said, “Stop. You aren’t smart enough for this. How could you make such big claims?”
This voice comes to me in the form of someone whom I know and whose thought process I respect. Consequently, this person’s voice has become the voice of my own fears. It antagonizes me and puts down my observations. It uses crafty logic to make me think twice about communicating what I want to communicate.
I’ve allowed my brain to use this voice/person against me, because I gave this person and their thoughts more authority and respect than I had given myself. I decided some time ago that this person knew more than I did, and not only did they know more, they knew better.
What this has shown me is that I still have some forgiveness to complete…. When we give other people’s voice, thoughts and existence more credit than we give our own, we immediately (and sometimes without knowing) start resenting them. We resent that they know more, that they “matter more” or have greater worth or influence. We have thoughts just to defy them, but then at the moment of truth, fear defying them outright so we keep it to ourselves. After all, speaking out could lead to consequences. They are more powerful than we are. They are smarter. They can out-think us.
It is insecurity. Mine comes in the form of not thinking I know enough in order to merit an opinion. It comes from the insecurity that the wisdom ministered to me, and through me, is not valid because I don’t always have the “science” or the “proof” or the perfect “argument” to back up a claim.
I fear the fight, the dissent of opinion. When I craft a statement, I immediately start seeing myself as a target, instead of a deliverance to someone who might need to connect with the message. I start imagining the debate, what I’d say to defend myself. Defense is not the answer. No matter how awesome I could defend a topic, it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter because I’d be in attack-mode, and nothing is accomplished there. Receptivity blows away in place of a need to protect your ground, your statement, your self. It immediately causes a conversation to become a battle, rather than a flowing, creative and fun exchange. By thinking that I will be attacked for my thoughts, or my expression or understanding of the world, it means that I have a pretty harsh and cruel perspective of the world–and of myself. It means that I’ve already decided that what I have to say does not have a place here. It means that I’ve judged other people’s receptivity as being closed off. And because of this judgement, it’s simply not worth the chance.
So, forgiveness works in many ways, and always, always comes back to ground zero: you.
Today I forgive my attack thoughts. I forgive myself for believing that I could even be attacked. I forgive myself for giving authority to others where equality was a braver choice. I forgive myself for putting my voice down. I forgive myself for avoiding the light, due to fear of being seen and being judged. I forgive myself for judging everyone before even giving them a chance to participate in the conversation. I forgive myself for wanting the whole world to like me. I forgive myself for not focusing on love. I forgive myself for being closed off. I forgive myself for attacking first.