Staying Silent, When I Want To Scream
Sometimes, I like to sit in silence. I didn’t realize the benefits of it before until I was thrust into fits of high emotion. Silence can be just as powerful as a lot of noise. As long as you know when to take control of that silence.
Over the last couple of months, I have experienced many things that have prompted me to use my voice.
And when it wants to be, my voice can be like a megaphone.
Whether about human rights, politics, food, or even just venting about my emotions. I have been very vocal about what it takes to make a change.
But if there is anything that I have learned as I have been raising my voice and trying to help others see the pain and emotions that come with hard topics...it’s that some people aren’t ready.
When people aren’t ready, and you continue to scream, you are just causing yourself more pain.
I have learned sometimes, the best thing you can do, is stop wasting your breath on people who do not want to listen and apply your energy to those who do.
See a lot of the times, when we are addressing hard topics like racism, sexism, sexual assault, politics, a difference of opinions, and so on… things get a little unchy.
And they should.
These conversations aren’t meant to be a safe or comfortable thing.
It always amazes me when people ask to be taught about someone else’s pain and how they can help (because their actions contribute to that pain)... and then say “well if you just do it with love, if you just do it in a safe space, a way that makes people feel comfortable, it’ll work.”
That way does not exist. Comfort does not exist within the realms of discomfort.
If the oppressed or wronged have to be asked to provide a safe space for their oppressors to learn and talk about uncomfortable things, then the conversation is not about change, it’s about appeasement.
It’s about not feeling guilty for being the oppressor.
So, I am stopping.
I am stopping the conversations with performative allies, with people who want to be drenched in culture but not drenched in the pain that comes with it.
I am stopping raising my voice so loud just to end up talking to a brick wall.
It’s not only tiring, but it’s wrong.
Because here is the thing… If people are not ready to get very uncomfortable. And I mean so uncomfortable to the point that their beliefs are challenged… they are not ready to do the work.
Discomfort sometimes cannot come in small steps. It can’t be sugar-coated or watered down. You have to be ready to dive into it or stay back until you are.
Talking about hard topics is HARD. It’s not supposed to be loving and kind and delicate, it’s supposed to make you question everything, and realize that your mentality and actions need to shift.
If people are not ready to put in that work, I am learning to step back.
I believe you should give people time to adjust, and give people time to feel uncomfortable and get over the initial shock… but once the dust has settled… if they are not ready to truly conquer this daily, they are no ally of mine.
I am learning that silence can be the loudest noise. And I’m ready to scream.