Dec 9, 2013

I Wonder What Would Happen If You Say What You Want To Say...

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle beneath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I want to see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I want to see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,

Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue
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

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?

- Brave. Sara Bareilles

I am back to black and white, which are my ultimate go-to colors for this season, to be honestly (if you have noticed)... actually, they are my favorite go-to colors for every season. There is a strange comfort in wearing these two colors and I usually contradict myself when it comes to fashion and how I feel: I end up actually wearing exactly what I am not feeling and this day, even if I was in black and white, I do live by the philosophy that in my life, I will try to avoid seeing things as being either black or white. Monotone minds, are, after all, very dangerous. I'll always love wearing black and white but I shall leave the black and white thinking to the critics and morally upright, holier-than-thou people. I just wasn't trained to see things that way. I refuse to see things that way.

Lily Tomlin once said, "If you can't be direct... why be?" and I have always prided myself in being quite blunt... (okay, okay, often "too blunt" are the words used) when it comes to certain things. I have no filter, as I always mentioned and the lack thereof usually just always gets me into trouble. Being direct is almost archaic in our society. With all the "spin," "handling," "innuendo," "figures of speech" and "outright lying," it is all so difficult to know what anyone is saying and what is real and what is not real. I must say, I beg to disagree when they say, "feminine women" have been trained in smooth talk,  inference, manipulation and control. Perhaps having 16 years of my life spent in an All-Girls Catholic School have exposed me to undergo personality development classes which have taught me to be one of the masters of the "soft sell." I had no choice, they had to be and I had to see, and luckily enough, Debate classes and Women's studies have showed me an entirely different spectrum and I struggled, with all of my strength, to refuse to be impotent and dependent. I often feel resentful and sad whenever I find myself dealing with illusion. It's not that I do not  perceive reality. I do! I just don't want to have to dig it out all the time. 

I have been trained by strong influences in my life such as my mother and my sister to master the art of seeing the whole picture. My meticulous nature and obsessive-compulsive tendencies has taught me to be good at seeing the fine details. I do believe to have good and adequate access to ideas to make me able to generate creative options and I am quite excellent at understanding emotional and intellectual nuances. This is why, despite the fact that my roles in life are changing and I am often forced to be more diplomatic, I still refuse to slip into a coma which I consider to be soft talk and spin. I have always been told that I had choices to make and this one choice, where I say what I want to say, often causes me to put myself in situations which cause sparks, is a big one and it has great implications. But it beats the hell out of not being real.

I always wonder why people just cannot be direct. Being direct takes so much less time and consumes less may cause occasional squabbles... but why be if you cannot be direct? I once stumbled upon a quotation that goes like this, "Do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way.

 We are so accustomed to doing what others want us to do, or doing what is socially acceptable to be "right," or doing that which earns us praise, that the quote above urging is to do only what we want to do, what we must do may seem unrealistic. It is, however, the reality I choose to live with. Most people, my detractors most especially, think: "That is fine for her to say and choose. She does whatever she wants to do and she has her own business- she schedules and owns her own time." and while these are all true, isn't it also true that it is perhaps better to live in a world free of pretense and lies. How many of us can admit that we have done many things for the wrong reasons, and the pain of our righteousness, nobility and praise seeking is often bitter in our hearts. Often, when we do something because it seems to be what is socially acceptable to do, we waste everyone's time and efforts... most of all, our own. 


It is a relief to believe that we are enough just as we are and that our unique way of doing things, of saying what we want to say... is just what is needed. As a tribute to Nelson Mandela (R.I.P.), I have to share that I find myself repeating this saying over and over again... even when I was still in college. He actually only quoted Marianne Williams in one of his most popular speeches and it goes:

 "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine,we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

These words resonate, and they always have. Why are we so afraid? It is as if our fear of inadequacy is blown up to cover up our deep knowledge that we are, as a matter of fact, powerful beyond measure. Then I try to see the other side of the coin and ask, "Why wouldn't we be afraid?" We have seen those who stick their neck up above the crowd get their head chopped off. Okay. Granted that there is a risk... but we have dealt with other risks before, haven't we? 

Do we need to be afraid of our light, being gorgeous, talented, brilliant and fabulous? Don't we owe it to ourselves to be as filled with light as possible and as powerful as we can be? Maybe one of the reasons we try to keep it safe rather than be brave is so we won't have to deal with the light that is within us... so that we don't have to truly know and accept how powerful we are."


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