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Sometime ago I wrote about the 'Armchair Activist', a person who talks a good talk on social media, recommending ways to help the environment, for example, but who fails to walk that talk.
Whilst I struggle to comprehend, not the dishonesty of such a person but the lack of self-love the person has for themselves, I struggle even more with the people I know are not speaking up when they know (and feel) they should, when something goes against their beliefs and values and, yet, they remain silent.
I get it. It's really tough to speak up and out. I've felt it so many times myself. I've wanted to say something but, for fear that no-one will like what I have said, I say nothing, for fear that people will be offended by me voicing my opinion or concern, I stay silent, for fear that I'll sound angry when I'm just feeling super passionate, I stay silent, for fear of being rejected or humiliated or laughed at, I stay silent, for fear of losing family, friends or clients, I stay silent, for fear of not blending in but standing out and making myself a target, I stay silent.
The people living in countries like those in Europe, Oceania, North America have freedom of speech and yet when it comes to exercising our right to speak up, all too often we fall silent. And yet, if that freedom was taken away from us we would be up in arms (though, honestly, we'd probably not say anything). Why do we take our freedom for granted? Why do we rarely exercise our right to speak?
There's only one answer and it's the same answer that drives so many of the poor decisions we make, the same answer that makes us do things that compromise our beliefs and values. And the answer is fear.
There are two energies in life, two core emotions in life: love and fear. Every other emotion can be linked back to either love or fear, with no exception. So we have a choice. We can act, live, speak, behave from a place of love or we can do so from a place of fear.
And when we live, act, speak, behave from a place of fear, I believe that a little bit of our soul dies. Yet when we live, act, speak, behave from a place of love, our soul expands and glows.
When we stay silent, when we choose not to speak up, it's rarely a choice made from a place of love, but a place of fear: fear that no-one will like what you have said, fear that people will be offended by you voicing our opinion or concern, fear that you'll sound angry when you're just feeling super passionate, fear of being rejected or humiliated or laughed at, fear of losing family, friends or clients, fear of not blending in but standing out and making yourself a target, fear... fear... fear.
Not speaking is the easy option, speaking up is the brave choice. And speaking up from a place of love, not anger or hate is a talent that we all have but most of us have forgotten because our lives, from birth, have been encapsulated by the concept of fear.
And that's why, if you do choose to speak up from a place of love, people may not like what you say, people may be offended by you voicing our opinion or concern, people may misinterpret passion for anger, people may reject, humiliate or laugh at you, family, friends or clients may walk away. It's not because of you because you're speaking from a place of love, it's because we're all so shrouded in fear that when one steps up and speaks up, whilst some will be uplifted and may choose to speak up also, others will run for fear.
But I ask you. Who do you want to be? Do you want to be the brave soul who speaks from a place of love and honours their values or beliefs? Do you want to surround yourself with others who live and speak from a place of love, not fear?
Or will you stay silent?