Shut Me Up? Not During This Lifetime

button you can't silence me

Since July, two people in my world died at the hands of their abusive partners.Senseless deaths of young, vibrant beautiful people.

Many years ago, a former friend made a button for me that said, “You can’t silence me” …..I still have it. It was an attempt to help me “find” my voice. I found my voice quite some time ago….and in the process of standing for what I believed to be right and to follow my own path, which included my own sense of ethics and morality, I lost many of these “friends” who had been so supportive in my distant past. However, this is OK.  I have learned that when you do find your voice and speak your truth with authenticity, many people won’t like it. I also acquired a new title: Bitch. (ha ha) That’s OK too….just be sure you use a capital “B”.

I heard this song on the radio for the first time a few nights ago…..and I had to chuckle, I was loving it!!

You can’t shut me up, you can’t hush my mouth, You can’t cover up the truth with duct tape…..I’m the sign you can’t unplug….no you can’t shut me up….I’m gonna be a mega phone….”

“Shut Me Up” Lindsay Ell

I will never stop speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves…….I will always speak out about any form of injustice……and having lived some of these situations myself…..they are even closer to my own heart…..even though I have always been the type of person to catch a bug and put it outside rather than kill it. I was born with compassion for ALL beings. Someone recently said to me, “It isn’t hard to do the right thing” and I was actually blown away by that statement…..I think it’s because in our society so many people turn a blind eye or just do the thing that will make them the most popular. The person that said that to me stood up for something that was right and in the process, lost a 30 year friendship. I guess such courage is rare these days and that’s why it blew my mind. What’s sad is that “doing the right thing” shouldn’t be a rare occurrence. But we live in a society where everything seems backwards….doing the “right thing” is rare and, conversely,  stepping on people and turning a blind eye is commonplace and even expected.

Even when it’s unpopular or uncomfortable, I will continue to speak out about what I believe is the “right thing”. And I have learned that while you lose people along the way, you do find those who are aligned to who you are and then you can form relationships based on mutual respect and appreciation.

The Ray Rice incident has brought the subject of domestic violence into the American media spotlight and has created a lot of debate. I found this 4 minute video to be a very powerful statement about it, from my friend Kristen. She addresses the question and the judgement of why women stay in abusive relationships…….

Reach deep inside yourself. Find the compassion. Find the love. Reach out to the homeless, the hopeless, the distraught, the abused……reach out to those who need help…..the elderly struggling to survive….the single moms…..there are so many out there who need help. Even if you have no financial resources to help…… don’t be afraid to look someone in the eye, to acknowledge their existence, to offer a word of encouragement, to smile at them. Resist your urge to look the other way and pretend you don’t see them or their pain. I challenge you today to make a difference in someone’s life  by a smile, a word or a touch…..and if you’re able…..a financial contribution. Robin Williams comes to mind…..and while I don’t think any of us could possibly know what was inside his mind……maybe that morning (or the night before) he died, a kind word, one kind word, could have made a difference. Think about it. This is powerful stuff.

So keep on keeping on. Keep speaking out. I will. Threats will never shut me up. (I have been  threatened in the past to stop writing my Facebook posts and my blogs.) Love and compassion are the strongest forces in the Universe. As Bob Marley said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, we will have world peace.” (Actually there is debate as to who really said this first, some say it was Indian philosopher Sri Chinmoy Ghose.)

We ARE the ones we have been waiting for.

And, you know what? I talk about stuff. I talk about the stuff I’ve been through, I talk about my past, I talk about it all…..because if I let one person know that they’re not alone…..that someone understands…..that someone cares……then my life here is not in vain. So, yeah, I talk, I share, and I always will. You can’t silence me.

Kathy Lee 9/13/2014


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