This experiment is not turning out like I thought it would.
But that’s kind of the point of experiments, right?
Trying out something new to see what happens.
So I have no idea yet exactly what balance we need to strike between freedom/autonomy for our kids and gentle/wise leadership.
But I do have something else to say. It’s something I’ve been seeing more clearly as I’ve been feeling the pain of CHANGE.
Change brings up stuff.
Makes you look hard in the mirror.
Gets you asking, “Why the -F -am I so like this in the first place?!”
As a girl, I was always accused of being “Bossy”.
Thankfully, Sheryl Sandburg has been working on making that a good thing.
But regardless of whether or not she’s successful, it felt really crappy to be labelled.
Every time I heard it, no matter how old I got, it never felt any less crappy.
So I tried not to be.
I invented a whole new me, to try and be… NOT BOSSY.
Not “Too Opinionated.” Or “Too Loud.” Or “Too” Anything.
I didn’t even realize I was doing it, but I realize it now.
And honestly, I believed myself until recently.
But every time I leave a family event, and collapse in exhaustion from the effort it takes to be sweet, accommodating, and not make waves or be too opinionated, I realize it.
Every time I get pushed a bit, frustrated or passionate past the point of resignation, and I snap–just the tiniest bit– I realize it.
I realize that I’ve spent the majority of my time maintaining a lie.
Trying to keep people convinced that I’m not too much, that I’m not offensive, that I’m not bossy. Trying to keep things quiet, and not make anyone uncomfortable.
Why would I do that? Obviously because it feels terrible to be judged. And we tend to judge when we’re made uncomfortable.
So I try to avoid judgement.
But tragically, I’ve avoided it by attempting not to exist.
And that’s the dumbest, most ridiculous waste of time ever.
Because…. well, frankly, I EXIST.
And thank GOD that I do.
I’ve got things to say.
And work to do.
I’m here for a reason, and there’s no way I’m wasting any more time being more concerned with avoiding judgement than with accomplishing my work.
So maybe I’ll be bossy.
I’ll sure as hell be opinionated.
Probably loud, offensive, talkative, emotional, idealistic, passionate, fierce, kind, compassionate, outspoken and rebellious.
It’s a little scary to commit to freedom. But not being free dilutes the power we’ve been given. It delays the effect we were born to have on this planet.
Worrying about how every little thing we say will be received is- truly- a waste of our beautiful lives.
We disguise it as “being considerate” or “polite”- but that’s not what it is.
And fear has no place in this world that’s aching for change.
Speak kindly, yes. Always. Speak with peace, forever. Love is the real power and it must lace its way through our every breath.
But be done with this falseness. This silence. This fear.
SPEAK, for God’s sake. And your neighbor’s sake too.
And I will speak too. I will make statements, get in faces, make waves and change the world.
Because, well… that’s what it takes to get shit done.
(Oh, and I’ll probably say shit sometimes, too. Because I like to. And shit needs to get done.)