“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
― Nelson Mandela
Yesterday, as I was cleaning my house, I set my Pandora station to Anna Kendrick because I love the cup song she sings on Pitch Perfect (my latest guilty pleasure movie that runs in the background at least twice a week while I putter around my house). A Sara Bareilles song played that I had never heard. I sat down and let the chills wash over me. Lyrics are all-powerful to me...and these have haunted me for the last 24 hours:
Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is
-Sara Bareilles, Brave
So many people in this world hold their tongues in fear. They are violated in unspeakable ways every day and they cannot speak for fear of their very lives or because they simply do not think they are worthy of protection. I began to think about how truly blessed I am in this life. I say what I want. I have freedom to go where I want to. Today, no one hurts me....at least not in the ways that are truly, deeply scarring.
I want to speak up for those who cannot speak. Until they find their voices (and it is my fervent prayer that they WILL), I will speak.
And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
- Sara Bareilles, Brave
- For all the children who are beaten, neglected, screamed at and told that they are worthless, stupid and ugly: I speak for you. You are precious. You are a beautiful gift to this world and someday, with a lot of grace and the wonderful reserve of will you will find, you will know this about yourself. I speak for you.
- For all of the kids who are shoved around and taunted because you are different: I speak for you. People are frightened of those who are different. The hate that is in them is not for you. You are precious. You are loved. You were designed perfectly just exactly as you are. Don't fall for their lies. I speak for you.
- For all the women in the United States who are humiliated and scarred, physically and emotionally, by the actions of those who supposedly love you: I speak for you. You deserve a life of safety and protection. You are precious. Priceless. Abuse is not love. You have worth and gifts....and there is only one you. Please do not let yourselves be destroyed. I speak for you.
- For all the women around the world in poverty, slavery and in war-torn countries whose bodies are violated in unspeakable ways by strangers: I speak for you. You are precious. I pray that you are freed. Your rescue is possible. There is hope. They cannot touch your heart. I speak for you.
I am grateful that I found my voice.
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