Being Heard

Use your voice!

No, I’m not talking about going around and screaming at people, though that alone can feel mighty refreshing at times. What I’m really talking about is … what I’m doing here. This is my voice, my thoughts, my rants, and my take on our world. You should never feel afraid to speak up, say something, talk on a topic that you are either concerned with or interested in.

I think the worst thing in life, for anyone, is being invisible. People can easily vanish from someone’s perspective. And in some cases, it might be a good thing. However, becoming invisible can also be a very difficult part of existence. It can create a void, an emptiness, something that slowly eats away at one’s soul. It can bring out depression, and left to fester for to long … it can bring on thoughts of suicide. If no one sees you, then they won’t miss you if your gone?

I hear a lot of people say, more so as the next generation of thinking becomes the current generation, that they want a life without drama. They don’t want conflict. They don’t need it in their life, so they end up avoiding it. Oh, how I can appreciate those statements. Especially on long days at the office.

However, the ‘but’ in this rant is when you get to the point that you are no longer heard, you are no longer seen, you are no longer there! Life, in my opinion, is going to have bumps and grooves. It has too. If you aren’t riding along, navigating around these things, then are you really living? Are you even growing as a human being?

If you aren’t willing to stand up for what you believe, that’s okay. Not everyone wants the soap box. But you have to be willing to speak up if something hurts or brings ill effect to your life. Let’s try a little real world example: Think about your physical body. If what I just said wasn’t true, then why do we have the capabilities to feel physical pain? Why when losing someone you care about, or have feelings of love for, your heart seems like it is physically breaking? And, if you are sad, why do your friends react and try to cheer you up? Why do others always want to hug or talk with you when you are down or depressed?

Your own body has systems in place to help you learn and grow. Don’t touch that because it will burn you, here is some physical pain to make sure you remember it. Heart break creates so many emotions internally that I’m sure many of us do our damndest to avoid it and … for some of us … we work to make sure our relationships never get to that level of pain. Or we go to extraordinary lengths to fix the problem so we don’t have to deal with that type of an emotional roller coaster. And those who care about us, they take on our pain so they can help us, so they can give back what they’ve learned and try to take the burden off of us.

Our own self is setup to deal with pain, difficulty, drama. We might as well stop eating as it makes us fat. All that will end up doing is making sure you die young.

Here’s another way of thinking about speaking up; a negative always has a positive, and a positive will always have a negative. Kind of the whole concept of Ying and Yang. Or Karma.

Those who want only positive in their life, no drama or bad stuff. Without it, then are you really experiencing anything? And, then their is that old adage that ‘you have to fail to succeed’. If you aren’t faced with something that hurts or upsets you, then how will you learn to cope and grow from the experience? Or, how will you recognize it when it happens again?

I’ve always said, “drama is the spice of life.” Taking that literally and applying it to food; what would food taste like without a dash of pepper, or a bit of salt? A salad with no dressing? Popcorn with nothing on it? Sure, some of that is fine, but is it great? Would you race back for more?

No one needs a nock down fight and no one says that a screaming match will resolve anything. But a disagreement where one person has the right answer but the other refuses to acknowledge it, or when someone has a bad habit that they really need to be aware of, or that latest statement is actually wrong on a variety of levels and just incredibly unfair. All these (very generalized) examples show things that shouldn’t just be left hanging. Providing feedback, speaking up, even if it will cause a fight, or lead to some hurt feelings; you are helping another person learn and grow.

Perhaps they don’t want to hear it, perhaps you don’t want to deal with it, but by ignoring it, you are potentially making things worse. You could also be opening that person up to more problems simply because you didn’t want to deal with drama. If you care about someone, speak up. Someone walking around with a jolly smile and not realizing they’ve got spinach on their tooth, only to find out it’s been their all day, that just ends up making someone afraid to smile from then on out.

As I write this, I keep thinking of why I wanted to touch on this topic. I’ve been told I’m very confrontational. I can be blunt to the point of painful. And I’ll be honest, I’ve felt my own self want to cry and run away during many of these moments in life. The reason I don’t is that from almost all these moments of drama, it has helped, built upon, and grown friendships and relationships. Sometimes it has also shown me a different side of understanding as to why something isn’t working or, that I need to actually step away and let that person go. The experience does give back, even though I had to ‘deal with it’ and put myself in drama’s way.

And one other thing, speaking up gets it off your chest. You’re not festering and letting something boil over or eat away at your own self. Those times when I did let things pass and didn’t speak up, things got worse before they ever got better … if they got better. Sometimes by avoiding the drama I’m the one crying in a corner and can’t find a way out. I had let myself get hurt, I had let myself down, all because I tried to avoid drama. As they say, “pull the bandage off fast,” get it over with. Then you can move on and not waste parts of your life avoiding something that upsets you — only to have it come back and repeat, over and over again.

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