Us women, we're implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) taught to shut the f$*k up. Be pretty, small, and quiet.
Because we internalize this teaching- from whatever the sources are, we sometimes in turn project it onto our Sisters, unknowingly.
Growing up implies taking up space- physically and otherwise. But society teaches us that its best if we don't ever offend, don't ever make a mistake, don't get too loud, and don't ever get too big-- physically or emotionally. And if we begin to stretch those boundaries? Sure as shit there's a product , "cure," or distraction shoved in our faces: a weight loss pill, a Bikini Body workout program, a sweet new street drug, a social media platform to compete on and numb out with, a video game, a new ice-cream flavour, Spanx, Self-Help for Dummies...
The world, in its various ways, says, "Feeling a little confident? Better check that shit. Reign that in."
"You sure you wanna eat that?"
"Hm. That video, I don't know... you're a little too flashy there, maybe."
"What are you talking about? You don't have a degree in that."
"No one's going to love you if you wear that/say that/choose that/create that/ask for that."
Heaven forbid you speak your mind, or say an outright "NO" to an unwelcome advance, or demonstrate your intelligence.
I've spent the better part of my life learning these unspoken rules of the world, along with almost every other woman.
The number of times I've ended the telling of a story, or the sharing of an intimate, vulnerable piece of myself, and instantly inwardly cringed, wanting to apologize.
The number of times I have thought, "I am SO LOUD. Why was I yelling? Was I yelling?" The memory of my voice echoing inside of my head like a series of fireworks, exaggerated, explosive, and impossibly hard to miss.
The number of times I've sat on my hands and bit my lip, suddenly self-conscious of how expressive I'm being, how animated my face was.
Worried that I sounded dumb, that I pissed someone off, that I offended someone, that I over-did it and over-shared.
The "Vulnerability Hangover" as I've heard Brené Brown call it.
I'm thirty-three years old, and I may just finally be getting that it isn't my job to be liked by everyone, all of the time. It's not my responsibility to predict every possible way my words or actions will be received-- that is an impossibility and the attempt alone would land me in a mental hospital. I trust that I am a loving person doing the best she can, and that my best will fluctuate. And that will have to do.
After thirty-three years, I may be finally getting that I don't have to filter or censor who I am for anyone's benefit. I- just like everyone else here- am human and imperfect and flawed and loved by the god that made me. I am responsible for my actions, and you are responsible for how you perceive them. I won't crawl back into the hole of "still small quiet" simply to make another comfortable.
I answer to the still voice within me, to the god of my own understanding. Because the thousands of other voices I was listening to before? They just got too damn confusing and overwhelming.
Your Sister over here has anxiety, and there's just only so much implicit and explicit shouting and rules and demands I can take, you know?
I've considered so much of this in light of my many facets: woman, partner, mother, and teacher, to name a few. I think that my goal is to grow in my understanding and experience of Neutrality and the meditative mind, but to get there I have to also embrace my understanding and experience of the vast spectrum of extremes: the highs, the lows, the positives and the negatives.
As a teacher, I've considered how I should present myself. If I should wait to have it all figured out, if I should keep my own personal struggles to myself as I work through them. Am I less of a trustworthy source, less of a professional, less of a beacon if I admit that I'm just over here working this out as I go?
It's a tricky balance, sharing vulnerably, while also doing the work to be a leader and a go-to for insight.
Here's what I have decided is true for me right now:
I didn't come here to be a spoonful of sugar.
If my words are my medicine- if I'm going to be a conduit of Truth for any of us to once again see who we really are- I'm not going to necessarily disguise it within a sweet little syrup.
If you're looking for consistently palatable, neat, uncomplicated, feel-good teachings: a) Maybe I'm not your gal, and (b) It might be necessary for you to re-consider what it is to be here on this planet. It is sometimes unpleasant, messy, complicated, and painful. Sometimes the "medicine" may even make the Ego feel worse before you feel better.
Besides, you know that sugar is actually poison, right? If you pump yourself full of enough of it, your body leaches minerals from the strength of your bones to be able to process it.
Sister, my goal is not to be a poison to myself, or to you.
I cannot and won't be everything to everyone. My words won't ring true for everyone, all of the time. I can only speak in my voice. Sweet or sour, I have to be me.
None of this is to say that I endeavour to be hurtful. My intention is to be a being of Love, always. Love, however, is not always soft, fluffy, and predictable. Sometimes, it is fierce and hot and takes your breath away.
Have you ever been in the presence of a Mama defending her young?
However my words resonate, I pray I never make you feel the need to be small and quiet.
Like a fierce mama lion, or a gentle mama elephant, I hope to encourage you to find your own way. Even if it turns out that my voice becomes one of the ones you have to walk away from.
Laura Biddle, also known by her spiritual name Tera Sundri Kaur, is a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga teacher (RYT 200) and channel of the angelic realms. She endeavours to live and teach from a place of accepting the darkness and light of humanity with compassion, starting with herself first. Laura is a mom of three, who are without a doubt her greatest teachers. She loves coffee, freshly cleaned kitchens, and when someone else is willing to fold the laundry. Find more from Laura and her work at www.rootsforwingshealing.com