“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” -Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady-Stanton wrote this at a time when the art of debate was a gentile art in comparison to some of today’s celebrated system of rants and counter-attacks. However, the appearance of gentility belied the same internal and social struggles then, as we are bombarded with today by the technology and attitudes that are so readily at our disposal. Many factors play into the decline of the social conversation; but from that decline has arisen a raw and sometimes brutal diamond which has caught more attention and spurred more social change than ever before.
We are at a pivotal point in history, and the change will happen with or without our cooperation. However, our cooperation gives us a foundation from which to plant our feet and keep our sea-legs when the waves become overwhelming. People want to be recognized, to be heard, but many still have yet to learn to listen to themselves before they can effectively listen to others. Whatever our personal struggles, we need to learn to distinguish the truth from our perception, which is viewed through the lens our our experience. I was told years ago that there are three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth. Discernment is learning to see other perspectives and make decisions based on the bigger picture. With today’s instantaneous technology and social media platforms, we are being overwhelmed with personal, social, political, marketing and diversionary information without the collective maturity to sift through it all with an objective eye.
Now I would be at least remiss if I were not to address my own lack of tact, refinement, and discernment in certain conversations and platforms; both in the past and sometimes in the present. It is no secret that I have very few secrets. However, I have painfully learned what to put forward and to whom, and have learned the value of time and a fresh eye in what needs to be shared. It takes time and a certain amount of work before we understand who is safe, who isn’t, and when it is appropriate to extend ourselves beyond our comfort zone and when to listen to our instincts.
For quite some time, I’ve been seeing the synchronicity of people having very similar personal growth opportunities and experiences on a collective level. Just today, a friend of mine posted that they were tired of platitudes and superficial interactions with people. Having been through this in my own personal life lessons, I felt it important to remind her to stay open and caring, and to always be willing to love without expectation, but also to make sure that she does so without draining her own resources, and to love herself first and foremost. There is nothing wrong with showing up authentically… we need more of that in the world. The issue is that authenticity may be recognized by those who haven’t done their own soul-work, but it is often manipulated by those who are only interested in their own gains, and will be lost on those have no interest in personal or social revelation or revolution. It is important then, for us to focus on trusting ourselves, our intentions, our instincts, our questions, and our boundaries rather than placing that trust in others in our interactions. When we are in touch with our own soul, we see that others will set their boundaries by their actions, and we can honor those boundaries while remaining true to ourselves. The times that we still face manipulation of our good will offer us lessons that we can embrace, rather than fear and will ultimately strengthen our own values and comportment.
It is important that we take care of ourselves, and learn to let go of the things that hold our attention away from solution. It is not realistic or healthy to ignore the negative, but we can learn to bring our focus to solutions easily by shifting our conversations from complaining and venting to “what can I do about this” and “what do I need to learn or let go”?
For those who are struggling with motivation to change or to step up our commitment to ourselves, now is not the time to rest on our proverbial laurels… rather it is time to mobilize our own minds and choices and choose that which we want to work toward, and give up the parts of the struggle over which we have control that are still holding us back from our own potential, and in doing so, we find that our truth is not something that needs to be blasted to everyone, but to be lived daily, and shared with those who notice and want to participate in sharing our collective truth.
~ Stay Blessed