Oprah’s speech last night at the Golden Globes stirred something deep within me. You too? The message was loud and clear; speaking our truth is the most powerful tool we have.
Speaking my truth has caused me immeasurable pain throughout my life, I’ve told my truth to lots of people only to be shunned, ignored, belittled, disbelieved, blamed. My truth, like so many other people’s truths -seemed too hard for too many people to listen to. And so I learnt to stay quiet, to suppress myself, to pretend that I was okay. I held it in, pushing all of the hurt, blame, anger and resentment deep down within me, until I made myself so sick that the only way for me to recover was to unravel the truth, to pull it from the depths of my being, to confront and feel the sorrow and then to let it go. I had to speak my real truth for the first time ever, all of it, I left nothing out. Secrets, lies, betrayal, all of the things that I had tried to ignore and run from, exposed. All of the shame, guilt, regret, people I had tried to protect, the dirty little secrets all exposed. It was excrutiating but I also knew it was the only way forward.
But here’s the thing, even after all of the work I have done, even after three years of doing nothing but healing myself from the inside out, I can still struggle to find my voice. Its still hard for me to talk my truth. I still prefer to let others do the talking, I still prefer to listen, at times I still struggle to be completely honest with those around me when I’m wonky and off centre. My language is to retreat, to stay small and quiet, to hold it in, to smile and pretend, to protect. Thats what I’ve grown up doing and thats what I’m determined to change.
The belief that what I have to say isn’t valid or isn’t important has been hardwired within me for most of my life. For me to speak my real truth feels like the most unnatural thing in the world. But here’s what I know and here’s what I believe. My truth matters, my truth is real and raw and messy and ugly. My truth is abuse, assault, illness, family dysfunction, mental illness, suicide, alcohol dependency, divorce, manipulation, control, heartbreak, loss, grief, silence and stigma. These truths have driven me to the depths of despair, but they are no longer holding me back for they have also done something else to me. They have awoken me. They have bought me to where I am now, they have forced me to confront myself and they have led me to a new truth- the real truth. The truth of God, healing, alignment, forgiveness, joy, peace, compassion and love.
I’m moving forward and I know its time to speak my truth, its time to share my stories so that others know it is possible to heal from the darkness and despair. Speaking my truth will make my voice shake, it will leave me feeling raw and exposed and I will continually question if I am doing the right thing for my children and my family. But the price is so much higher if I don’t do it. I vowed never to betray myself, never to let myself down, and I won’t. This is the person that God intended me to be and I know in moving forward I am not alone, I have the support of the entire Universe and nothing brings me greater comfort than knowing everything that has happened in my life was to bring me to where I am now. I have healed, and I continue to heal because I have retuned to love. I’m no longer holding on to resentment and heartbreak. I’m not angry and I no longer feel like a victim. I’m not bitter because of the way my life has gone and I don’t have any regrets about my past choices or feel like I have to prove myself to anyone. I have returned to love, and I can now give those that have hurt me compassion and forgiveness. I know that the people that have hurt me in so many ways have been the greatest teachers of my life, they are the people that have enabled me to do what I came here to do.
My hope for those living with their truth still trapped inside them is this; when the time is right for you, I hope that you may speak your truth, all of it. And when you do I pray that you find the right people to tell, so that you feel validated, heard and loved. I pray that you find the courage and strength to step into the pain that comes with your story so that you can stop running, stop numbing and start healing. I pray that you forgive yourself and let go, so that you can forgive those that have hurt you. I pray that you heal and make peace with your past so that you can then live the life you came here to live. And most of all I hope that you can open up your heart and find your way back to LOVE.