When Silence Becomes Soul Crushing

I want to be real with you today.

"Wait, what? I thought you were always real with me Sarah?"

I am. And these past few months I have been at a bit of a loss on what to say on some fronts. 

Photo by Matthew Henry

Photo by Matthew Henry

I have been conflicted. Like many, I have ranged from shocked, to sad, to angry, to galvanized, to flabbergasted, to inspired, to numbness, and confusion.

(If you have just braced yourself for a political rant - this is not that. Bear with me.)

I have ranged from feeling like I could take on the world and that my leadership and voice is needed now more than ever, to feeling overwhelmed by it all and thinking that my impact is just not big enough.

I've been thinking about what I am committed to and how I can lead and model all of the things I have been challenging you to take on these past two plus years. I've also been mulling over how I can best support you.

The answer for me, at it's core, has become clear and is quiet simple. Do what The Badassery Project has always done - share, be vulnerable, lead by example, challenge you, and remind you of your own voice and power.

To that end ...

I grew up in a family with very divided political affiliations. I learned to keep my head-down and that it was much more comfortable to just stay away from anything political. Well, really, anything that could have any controversy. So I did that, for most of my life. And while I didn't know it at the time, my disengagement and silence about things I deeply cared about, was soul crushing (back then it came out as anger and anxiety).

Fast-forward to 2016 and it has been like a sledge-hammer to every part of my being. And yes, the political divide blows, but what has really got me by the heart strings is the divide in our beliefs about humanity and how to best be stewards for this country, the world, and the planet. 

Based on my beliefs and the world I would like to live in - there is a lot of soul crushing things happening right now (and have been happening). But you know what has been one of the more soul crushing pieces for me? My silence as a grown-ass, enlightened, leader of leaders, adult.

To say I have had a lot of inner chatter, would be the understatement of (I don't know, something that covers a really long time).

  • "What if I offend someone?'
  • "What if someone feels shame, which is not my intention?"
  • "What if I lose subscribers, followers, audience, business, etc?"
  • "What if someone says something shitty back to me?"
  • "What if I hurt and/or disappoint someone I deeply love and care about?"
  • "What if it ends up not making a difference anyway?"
  • "What if I am wrong?"
  • "What if nobody likes me afterwards and I live a long, lonely life and then die?"

And the doozy one ...

  • "Who the fuck am I to say anything?"

Any of this inner chatter familiar to you?

No matter how long we live. No matter how much inner work we take on. No matter how extraordinary our leadership is. No matter our convictions/commitments/beliefs. No matter how courageous we are. No matter how full of love we are. There will be moments when we doubt ourselves. There will be moments when it will be far more comfortable to blend in. There will be moments when disowning our power seems like the easier option. We are humans after all and hard-wired to stay safe.

In these moments, we have a choice to make. 

  • Do we let the 'what ifs' sway us from our highest commitments?
  • Do we let our own fears silence us?
  • Do we doubt what is in our hearts?
  • Do we blend in and stay silent?
  • Do we rise even when it scares the shit out of us?
  • Do we model the things we stand for?
  • Do we lead when other's wont or can't?
  • Do we risk being seen in all of our glory?
  • Do we hold the space for love even when it is hard?

No one can choose for you. I am not here to tell you what to do. I am not here to brandish shoulds on you. I am not here to convince or push my opinions or beliefs on you. There are enough people in the world doing that.

I am here to remind you that part of standing solidly in who you are and what you want, is to use your voice. To express yourself. To let out into the world what your heart craves to say. 

I've shared some of my story as an example. Yours could be anything. Any topic. Any situation. Any person. Literally anything. It may not be via a blog post or on social media. It may be a one-on-one conversation. It may be in small actions or big sweeping ones.

Over the course of a lifetime, the things we don't say become far more crushing then the things we do.

Is there something you have been silent about? And are you willing to change it from a soul crushing silence into a soul liberating roar?

I am learning, growing, and leading right along with you. 

Lots of mad love & respect,

Sarah

P.S. One final note - even with all of the craziness in the world, if you look for it, there is much love and hope to be found. There is such beauty in our humanity.

P.S.S. You are loved, strong, and more powerful than you know.