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Speak your mind

Updated: Jan 19

This Maggie Smith meme appeared in 'Word Porn' today. That's a Facebook group I follow. You ought not to be surprised that I'm a forthright person, hence the website! But I only got that way through a couple of decades of pain and frustration. The shaking that Maggie refers to could be a 20-year occasional experience, or more. It may never leave! I didn't read "Feel the fear and do it anyway" by Susan Jeffers, but it must be the same thing! It's life. Fear, or anxiety, makes you shake.

In 1992, a colleague who had bullied me for the last year or more, told our boss (who was present with just the pair of us), to give me a certain task that I didn't want. I must have looked incredibly awkward and pained when I raised my voice to stamp down "No!" My boss gave me a stupid look of false surprise and said nothing. It was the hardest thing I'd said to anybody in my life. I was livid with my colleague, shaking, and probably red faced, etc. I was just 24, he was a bit older.

In about a month a list of jobs appeared on the office wall. I'd been assigned that job. I resigned first thing next morning.

The next occasion in my life that I needed to speak with a great difficulty, it was a bit easier. Then the time after, it was easier still; and so on. I'm 56 next month, I take forthrightness for granted. It's how I am; but that first reaction in 1992 was absolute murder for me, and I then had to make it 100% firm by resigning. (BTW: life has shown me I did the right thing, because I got to become me, despite everything x)

Speaking out when your emotions are frankly scary, is a learned skill. If you don't study it, I think you might risk a life of "bondage". No-one told you, that life was going to be easy. Well opening your mouth is part of the hard bit. Violence gets you in trouble with the police. Broadly speaking, society/ the system/ whatever, doesn't want you to have a voice. Older people like me can remember school being, "shut up, put you hand up to speak, and say 'yes sir', 'yes miss', 'no sir', 'no miss'". I wonder why that was?? Or did you go to a private school??

Some would say a voice is your most valuable asset: a liberating life giver. It's not about bloody-minded brazenness though, it's about having a balanced mindset.

Good luck, and Godspeed.

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