7.6
Winner
May 25, 2021

Don’t Settle for Being Tolerated.

 

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Strong female voices. I love them.

We are not short of them on this platform and each voice plays in its distinct key.

The power of kindred minds coming together is one that is for the most part unstoppable, unflappable, and drives a silent but deadly revolution in its wake.

For every strong female voice that dares to speak their truth, another glass ceiling gets shattered. Another person is awoken to their potential.

The rise of the uncensored pundit gives hope to another who is struggling to take command of their own voice. A litany of small fires creates a huge beacon of hope in its climax, a flame atop a mountainside signaling the coast is clear and the enemy has retreated.

Every strong female voice gives rise to the next and the next and the next.

Marianne Williamson famously quotes:

“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, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. 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.”

That final line Marianne delivers encapsulates the power of a strong voice and the domino effect that happens when we are brave enough to speak out.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Hell-to-the-yeah!

I was told quite recently that I can be a “dominant personality” and that I can come across as “preachy.” Now, it was said in jest, but it was that kind of jest that you know has a secondary layer of intent behind it. A hidden agenda. That being a direct yet loosely delivered suggestion that should I tone the f*ck down.

You see, a strong female voice is not always perceived as a good thing; sometimes it’s seen as a threat, as an inconvenience—as a problem.

Let it be noted that I am not laying the blame all at the feet of men here either (although that person did happen to be a man). Some women can be just as put off by a strong female voice. That is the worst!

There is a special place in hell for a woman who tells another woman to tone it down when they are speaking their truth, who asks them to blend in or not to challenge the status quo because it makes them uncomfortable.

In the face of a censorship siege from my fellow females, I have learned to always choose myself! I choose my moral compass, my power, my right, my voice, and my goddamn responsibility to pave the way for another to feel empowered enough to do the same.

A friend and fellow Ele writer said to me the other day, “You can’t show someone the light that they don’t believe exists.” This line delivered me a buffet of thoughts and realizations all on one plate.

I have spent so much time talking to certain “friends” about things I am learning, reading about, and discovering, and I have been met with a few eye rolls or glassy responses. Maybe I potentially fall foul of my excitable nature; perhaps my deep belief and strong tone make people feel as if I am trying to almost push my opinions onto them. I am not.

I share my experiences and learnings never in a bid to patronize, or lecture, or “preach” but to start a dialogue—to open up a conversation, to get deep, to build bridges, to drive awareness. Friendship for me must be at that cellular level.

Small talk is not for me—never has been, never will be. Yet, this type of conversation can ricochet back at me like a boomerang with certain people, and when the conversation is halted or stunted or seemingly mocked, I instantly feel like I should “tone it down” or even consider that maybe I am a chronic overthinker or that I am possibly pushing an agenda.

I question my own strong female voice.

The raw and uneasy truth, however, is that people (especially your close friends) who you try and have a conversation with about something that matters to you, who then try to put you out like an errant fire—are not your people.

A strong female voice should never be dampened by a closed mind. That sort of interaction will not serve anyone. Sometimes these are hard realizations because we love that person, or we respect their opinion, or we have made a million memories with them, and so on. But the cold hard truth of the matter is that they aren’t where you are now—and that’s okay.

It’s okay that they have different views, causes, priorities, and paths. It’s okay that they aren’t interested in moon cycles or positive psychology. It’s okay that they don’t want to read your books, listen to your theories, or mock interest in your latest article research. It’s okay. It’s fine. That’s exactly where they should be—doing their thing—but you can’t go with them. You do you.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends, or you can’t be friendly with these people. It just means that you are on different paths and they aren’t going to be able to join you for this part of your journey.

Don’t give your light to people who are determined to put you in the shade. It’s a big old waste of vitamin D.

When you open up to someone who you perceive to be close to you, you can tell the difference between being celebrated and being tolerated. You already know deep down.

Don’t be tolerated—many others want to dance in the rain with you, share in your experiences and realizations, hit the picket line with you, join the forum, and stay up till 3 a.m. talking about the meaning of life. I am one of them—and if that makes me preachy, then hand me the damn label and I will wear it loudly and proudly.

Find your pack and run wild. Howl at the f*cking moon together, scream into the abyss, make big plans and small differences, and rejoice in each other’s strong female voices! Relish in the realness of a kindred mind.

Find your pack, people—they’re out there.

When we are on a journey of any sort, but especially one of self-discovery or self-betterment, it is easy to get so involved in our learnings that we can forget that others with whom we may share friendships are not in the same place. I am so keen to share important things with people who are important to me that I sometimes forget that this is my journey—and not everyone will want to get on the bus I’m driving.

So…

Let them get off—but drive on you must!

You must continue to burn brightly because you owe it to yourself to be heard and seen and free to use your voice amongst supporters—not detractors.

Someone is waiting in the wings to be liberated by your bravery, your strength, and your voice.

Remember: “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

~

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