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People want you to quiet, they want you to be voiceless. In the midst of politics, debates, the lunacy and discord over this 2016 election, I overheard a friend say, “Everyone has an opinion, don’t they?!” I was silent, but inside I was screaming “YES! Yes they do, isn’t that the F-in point?”

I get it. I am tired of the hatred. Often I prefer to get swept up in a TV show and forget the world for a while. In truth, I don’t want to hear the othersides defense because there is so much I can not ignore. I wish i could prance with the rainbow unicorns humming happy melodies. But, I cannot seem to put a cap on the really big real feelings I have when I have them. I don’t think we are meant to.

We have to start talking about the hard stuff. Too many of us are staying silent to keep everyone else comfortable, to keep ourselves comfortable. Too many of us are shutting down, turning off and numbing out because we have been triggered, or someone has told you they prefer if you keep your feelings, your opinions, your experiences to yourself.

How is that working for us? I mean really? How has that worked for all the women who have been groped, raped, assaulted, verbally abused and on and on… The silence is NOT making any of it go away. Kelly Oxford tweeted about her first assault when she was 12, inviting other women to share. Within 24 hours she had received thousands of tweets, over 50 per hour, and I am sure it is not stopping.

I hear advice all the time, be mindful of what you are sharing on social media, people are judging you, you are alienating potential connections. You know what else is alienating? Silence. You know what else separates people? An unwillingness to get real, to be vulnerable, to share truth. We are separated more by our attempts to appear perfect than by sharing the truth of our humanity. It is in our utter imperfectness, brokenness and rawness that we begin to really see one another. I want to connect with people who see me, who can connect authentically with who I am. I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, I am not trying to be. I don’t want to be.

This is about so much more than politics, this is so much bigger than what is happening today. This is everything. This is every issue that matters to any of us. Speak your mind, have a voice, share YOUR truth. Make your mark.

I believe my voice, my story matters and so does yours. I want you share with me the issues that matters so deeply to you, tell me your story, help me understand why you hold a belief so close to your heart, maybe then I can see through your eyes, I can fight with you, for you, we can do it together.

I guess, I am just not that concerned about keeping everyone happy. I don’t think I am going to change lives by sharing my politics. But I do believe joining in the collective outrage over issues that matter is important. I do believe that more and more voices joining together facilitates change.

Most importantly, I refuse to remain silent so that “you” are more comfortable.

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