"Your silence will not protect you." - Audre Lorde
I grew up thinking that being meek and quiet was the best way to live. I equated being silent with being cooperative, wise, and the most socially appropriate behavior.
I am now 35 years old and I have come to learn this is not the case.
Being cooperative does not mean being silent.
Being wise does not mean to never speak up.
And fitting into the norm of what is most socially appropriate is not always beneficial for me.
Of the many mindfulness practices that I include in my life...speaking up is one of them. I used to think of mindfulness as only being silent. Oh no, mindfulness is also taking action and being aware of the actions or behaviors you are participating in.
Speaking up requires courage.
Prior to opening up my throat chakra, I had to do the internal work of figuring out what things made me uncomfortable, why they made me uncomfortable, and learn how to take action despite of the discomfort. I had to go to therapy, do journal writing, talk with people that cared about me, and mindfully become aware of my own inner issues. All of this requires some humility and courage. And courage is something that doesnt come easy. It takes contemplative work.
2. Speaking up requires becoming more observant.
I have learned to observe first, speak second. It isn't prudent to speak without first looking around and trying to figure out what's going on. Becoming observant of my surroundings, the needs of others outside of myself and the context of a situation or dilemma requires me to participate in the contemplative act of being observant and alert to tangible and physical being and things outside of myself.
3. Speaking up requires one to be knowledgeable of the subject at hand.
I realize that a person can talk and lack the above ( being observant and having courage.) There are certainly a fair share of folks who speak up with little knowledge of what they are speaking of. However, when I am dealing with my own path of recovery, I find that I am better able to navigate my needs when I speak up, and know what I am talking about. People take me more seriously. I also am forced to face any illogical beliefs I had. There were times in my life where I was forced to face false beliefs...simply because I took the time to really study a subject matter and learn about it.
In my life time, these are things that I have found to be protective factors in my journey to recovery' developing courage, becoming observant, and becoming a life long learner.
When I am silent, I find I am not served as well. People dont learn of me much, and I don't ask the right questions.
What are some ways you find yourself speaking up? How has speaking up benefitted you?