When it is quiet, our minds speak. Our hearts speak. Our souls speak. They tell us truths. They show us realities. They reveal to us what we’ve ignored, or failed to see. When it’s quiet, instead of talking, we listen. We take in what we see around us. We absorb. We discover.
When it’s quiet, the world takes note of our absence. Because, suddenly, all feels unbalanced. Because, suddenly, in our silence we are noticed. And maybe that pulling back stirs a strength within us we didn’t know we had.
But what if silence isn’t the answer?
What if quieting our voices—in the name of protest, in the name of support, in the name of pride and boldness and love—perpetuates everything that held us down in the first place?
What if silence weakens? Reminds us that we are captive to what we keep inside our minds. Reminds us that when we are quiet, we stand alone. Reminds us that if we say nothing, we are simply not heard.
And we shouldn’t be silenced, not when our words give us strength.
As victims, as survivors, as WARRIORS, the only true power we have are our voices.
To stop speaking, to stop shouting, to stop sharing our stories—are we making an impact? Or are we falling back into what held us back before? Are we shortening the realm of possibility and hope that comes from finally setting ourselves free?
Are we quieting the voices of other races, ages, disabilities, statuses, and walks of life? Are we shutting down people, voices, beliefs, and perspectives that need to be heard?
Does our silence liberate or limit?
When we don’t tell the truths of what has happened to us, when we are told to stay silent, when we are burdened by pain and guilt and fear and anger and sadness and ache and cannot find our voice—then it is up to the rest of the women who surround us to speak on our behalf.
To stand strong. To support. To say, ‘I believe you. I see you. I hear you. I notice you. I love you.’
It is up to women to show other women that words of love, strength, affirmation, belief, and support can never be silenced.
It us up to us, as women, to learn the power of our voices, the strength of our skin, the value of coming together in protest—maybe not in silence, but, simply in solidarity—affirming that our presence matters. Our presence deserves to be heard.
So no, today, I will not be silent. I will write these words and speak them to life on this page. I will remind myself and the women around me that our stories matter, even the hardest ones. I will believe in the strength of our voices. I will believe in the incredible resilience of our souls to continue to be bold, to share our truths, to be open and vulnerable and empowering and whole.
I will choose to share love and hope because that is what we all need right now.
I will choose to speak today, to amplify myself and the women around me.
I will not be silenced.