Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Shout it Out!

I had the opportunity this past week to get away for several days and visit friends in the Pacific Northwest. The beauty of the mountains in autumn, is indescribable. It is the kind of beauty that leaves you speechless, you just soak in as much of it as you can. Desperately desiring to soak in every part of it.

One of the things I grieve the most as a single parent is that I am often the only adult soaking up the things my kids say and do. I live in a place of fear that I am not remembering or documenting enough. We already have so many question marks in our story that I find myself wanting to make sure that never happens again. I am the lone one, celebrating the breakthroughs, first words and hilarious kidisms.

When my crew came to me, they had experienced a lifetime of being silenced, cast aside, convinced that their thoughts didn’t matter. One of my greatest joys as a mama, has been watching them find their voice. I have learned they are wise, opinionated, and big dreamers. They feel safe enough to let the deep places of their hearts be known.

Silence a person long enough and they will forget they have a voice. I want to instead empower those around me, creating space for voices to be heard. I want to allow voices to say things that challenge my ideology. We often silence those we don’t agree with, we don’t understand or those who are simply different. We pass through this life, unaware of those around us. As humans we have a voice, what a beautiful gift that is. Watching that gift being used is incredible. Why is it we celebrate a child’s first word? Those words are sacred, we celebrate them because we know it is a gift to speak.

We have all been silenced, literally and figuratively. We have had people tell us we are too loud, colorful, sparkly or our heads are in the clouds. We have been laughed at, not taken seriously, we have been overlooked and ignored. We have shared and been hurt, shared and been shrugged off, at many points in our lives we have been quieted. Maybe it started when we were little, being quiet became our identity, it has become the bar set in which we never rise above.

Let’s choose our words carefully, counting the cost of each one. Let’s use them to empower those around us. Allowing space for hearts to be shared, for vulnerability to exist and for questions to be asked. Allow for another person to hear, find and share their voice in your presence. Celebrate it, call it out and create space for it.

Maybe, you have been silenced somewhere in your life. That hushing has stopped you from pursuing a dream, goal or declaring a truth. You have owned that silencing and it has shaped your very life, the constant companion to a life not fully lived. Friends, no more. Grab your microphone, you have something to share, deep within you, it may be a bit croaky at first but you will get it.

You see it takes one brave word, one thing to utter, one thing to share. I have watched my beautiful five year old, go from a three year old who barely said a word, blossom into a smart, opinionated, well spoken little girl. She delivers wit, wisdom and grace to the world around her. She has found her voice and my prayer for her are that she would never stop. Find your voice, don’t quiet it anymore, you have something to share, a story, piece of advice or affirmation for someone else. What was quieted in you? Let’s be brave, free and loud.


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