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Show me how big your brave is

merida

All of my regular readers here at NSS know that honesty is the name of the game. I always try to tell you the truth, even when it’s not easy or pretty. You’ve been to some dark spiritual places with me. And I try to be that way in life — honest. Just ask the prison chaplains who sat through about 90 minutes of honest yesterday. But sometimes, despite all the best attempts at honesty, there’s a sliver of truth that gets left out, something we’re afraid to say because we think hearing the words out loud would shake us to the core. 

What would people think? What might happen? And so we keep our true self, our truth, ever so slightly hidden. It’s just easier. But, guess what? It turns out the only thing scarier than speaking your truth is NOT speaking your truth. Once you let it out, once you stand in your truth and wait for others to take aim, all the fear drops away. Because for once you know there’s no sliver left under cover, and you are finally standing where you were meant to be.

That’s how it felt this week. When I hit “publish” on Sunday and posted my feelings, I knew I was inviting in a world of trouble. But I also knew that to be silent was the most dangerous thing I could do. Because if I’m not being true to myself and true to my relationship with God, none of this works — not the blog, not the books, not the columns, not the conversations, not the prayer life, nothing. It took me 51 years and a lot of prayer and a lot of soul-searching and some serious time in silence to figure that out. I don’t think it’s coincidence that after a weekend silent retreat — time spent crying as I pleaded silently to God: “You need to guide me because I don’t know the way on my own.” — that I finally got up my courage to speak not only my truth, but a truth that seems, based on the many emails I’ve received, to similarly affect many others as well. I didn’t do it just for me; I did it for every person who has ever felt like me.

In the silence I found my voice. Or the rest of my voice.

So today I ask you to think about your truth. What is it that you’re not letting out because you’re afraid? Maybe it’s time to speak it. And show me “how big your brave is,” as singer Sara Bareilles says in the song clip below.Put it on. Dance. Sing. Speak. Your. Truth. Always. Don’t let the shadows win.

(H/T to my FB friend Maggie over at The Glass House Retreat, who first brought this song to my attention. It came on twice during the eight hours I spent driving during the last 24, so it seemed like the right theme song for today.)

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m a little reticent to be completely honest. But I enjoy YOUR honesty, and that’s my honest assessment!

    September 26, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you! When it’s time, the complete honesty will come. You won’t be able to hold it back. :-)
      And I’ll be there to support you if you need it.

      September 26, 2013
  2. Mary ~

    Your words are always amazing.

    I am honored to have a shout out here. Sara truly and completely cuts to the core with this song. I am so glad it “speaks to you.”

    Rock on, and keep speaking your truth…it really *is* hard and scary and oh. so. worth. it!

    xo

    September 27, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you. I can’t wait to meet you in person. Some day. Soon!
      Hugs,
      Mary

      September 27, 2013
  3. Cathy Rivera #

    Hi Mary-
    I just recently subscribed when my friend sent me a link to your last 2 posts. She sent them to me because we both have felt the same way you did. I applaud your courage to post how many of us feel. When my family moved 5 years ago, we left a parish that fed us– both as a community and with beautiful, thoughtful liturgy. I had many similar experiences to yours of sitting in church where we live now holding back my frustration and anger… so much so that we decided to attend a parish 25 minutes away instead of going through the motions at the parish that is literally across the street! I agree that the Eucharist should keep us coming, but we should NOT be complacent with bad liturgies and bad homilies. And yes– there is such a thing! I have been to many. If it was only about Jesus in the Eucharist, then Jesus would have only prayed in solitude, but he didn’t. He calls us to be a community of believers to come to Mass to be fed and to then go out and spread the GOOD news! Vibrant liturgies and practical homilies help us to do that. Thank you for having “big brave”! (I love the song, too).
    Cathy

    September 27, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you for being here today! I appreciate it.
      Peace and blessings to you,
      Mary

      September 27, 2013
  4. pat #

    Thank you for sharing this video. It came at the right time, as the message behind it resonated with my current situation. When I watched it, it inspired me, validating the path I’m on…

    September 27, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Reading this made me smile. The Spirit at work…Prayers for you on your path.
      Mary

      September 27, 2013

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