I was recently asked to stay silent on something that could have helped many people in deference to fear of negative responses and sharing secrets that weren't mine to share. This sent me into a rage. Who were they to silence my voice? How dare they dictate which forums I am allowed to share on?
I spent a sleepless night with a stomach tied up in knots. Anger, hurt, and a whole host of other emotions battled in my mind. The very nature of what I feel is my vocation, sharing stories in the effort to inspire and help other people, felt threatened and challenged.
The struggle between compassion and truth waged in my very being. I have always been a truth teller, even though it's caused me conflict again and again, so stifling the truth is the very antithesis of who I am. In the end, I decided to cave because I could not withstand the turmoil but I did not feel settled.
I felt like I was giving in to others demands, which let me tell you, did not, and does not, sit well with me. Yet, a small voice in my head had to admit that some of what they were saying was true. Was what I wanted to share my truth to tell? Had rosy glasses blinded me to see a certain way when, in essence, I knew better from past behaviours?
Yesterday while I was talking with my counsellor, we discussed this and she gave me something to think about that helped me understand the other side a bit more. Our stories are our stories, yes, but to a certain degree. If our stories contradict someone else's story and then it is made public, the truth that they have created is then challenged and will have to be faced. Who am I to have that power over them? Who wins?
Does it always have to silence you though? That is the question that I am left with. I guess what it comes down to is, are the consequences of sharing something that you can live with?
I decided to look for the gifts from this chaos instead. The situation helped me examine my motivations, it showed me certain truths, and it once again guided me to see that things had nothing to do with the actual events and consequences and more to do with personal lessons and growth. If I look at it from a higher perspective, I arranged all of this for my own benefit. How can I stay angry at that?
Tracy Kelly is a writer and artist from London, Ontario Canada who manages Anxiety, Depression and Fibromyalgia.