“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain” – Gabor Mate, MD
I stayed up past my strict 10pm bedtime to watch Oprah accept the Cecile B. Demille award. Her acceptance speech was (looking for adjective please hold…) phenomenal. If you haven’t watched her speech, you should.
Why am I talking about this? I saw so many comments from women about how Oprah or other celebrities need to shut their mouth and just entertain us. What? Like these humans are circus animals? All they are worth is entertainment. All of us have a story and all of us are entitled (and obligated) to speak our truth. I don’t care how you make a living: Speak your truth.
As a woman, this comes with significant social consequences. For as long as I can remember, people have been commenting on my “mouth” or my laugh. Both of which are loud. The comments would range from passive aggressive to explicitly telling me to “shut my mouth” or “no man will put up with that shit” or “I warned them about you”
Instead of arguing with these people, I think the best response is just to keep speaking your truth. The reality is that I’m lucky. My husband won’t slap me if I speak out of line. My friends won’t stop talking to me or loving me. My non-existent church family will not reject me for my opinions. Unfortunately, I know that some people may feel a certain way about something but they would risk social connections (Love) if they spoke out about how they felt. This is how the power structure is maintained.
As a professional secret keeper (therapist) for most of my career, I know that people crave truth, they want to tell others how they really feel. This movement, if it continues, has the power to open that door.
One of the reasons Oprah has been so successful is that she created a platform where people could whisper “Me too” to the television for 25+ years. She created a sacred space where people talked about sexual assault, domestic violence, LGBT issues, and so many other hushed topics. People admire her (or hate her) because she elevated real people who told real stories about their real lives. This is still revolutionary. Oprah and others like her remind us that we are not alone in our experiences. We all need to know we’re not alone in the same ways we need food and water. Humans are built for connection. Without love and connection we die.
I was born telling the truth. In many ways, this has saved me from the shame of keeping all the pain of a lived life inside. That shame literally kills people.
Find a safe person (maybe a therapist) or a pad of paper or a computer and get that truth out of you. Let those words hit the air, be brave and share your truth with someone you love and trust. Let a person love the truth out of you.
“The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off” – Gloria Steinem