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What are you doing? What do you need? How can I help you? How can we help one another? How can we exude exactly what we want and realize reciprocation from another human being? Why do we suffer in silence instead of speaking out loud about what is bothering us? I spoke at an event recently and by the end, all the women found they had more in common beyond femininity. Initially, as everyone came in, they began to separate by physical likeness. You go for what you know, but what about the things you need help with that you don't know how to ask about? We all are striving and hoping for something greater for ourselves, but sometimes it is ourselves that get in the way. I listened to so many women speak about what they have kept to themselves and what privacy means to them, due to both embarrassment and shame. For me it had always been the shame of 'what will others think, say, or feel', but now I have learned that transparency is healing. It is more embarrassing to live in a lie than it is to be at peace with your peace.

Every day, give me a piece of the peace! The longer I keep a secret protecting someone else, the longer I am damaging my own peace. Have you ever been compelled to speak and bit your tongue because everybody didn't need to know your business? My mother taught me a lot by not telling me the things that I thought she should tell me--I thought she should talk to me through heart aches, disappointments, and break ups. Instead she taught me that just because something in your life stops, it doesn't give you permission to stop. My mother taught me that everything can stop except for you because if you stop, who will help you remember to go. The resilience I have learned and been taught gives me so much strength, but it has also taught me weakness; weakness in the sense that I thought I could do it all alone. I believed I had no choice, but to suffer in silence and only come out when I was shiny and perfect.

If you need help, call out for it. If you need direction, ask for it. If you are in a relationship and something doesn't seem right, ask someone else. It may seem like a stupid question to ask but isn't it worse when you do something stupid in real life?

Are you being tested right now? There will be no testimony without a test. If you give a testimony but don't walk me through how you got through the test I won’t believe you. I have had to learn what discretion really means. Discretion doesn't mean lock yourself up alone and suffer alone-- it just means to value what it is you are saying, telling and giving about yourself and others.

I was suffering yet I didn't call anyone. I was suffering yet I didn't talk about it. I thought I could ignore the pain away, meditate it away, maybe even just run away from it. I felt like I could pray about it, I knew what scripture God would lead me to (I thought I knew what God would lead me to). I thought that women were supposed to suffer silently. I had not been taught that, but I observed it my entire life. I have literally been crying until someone came and opened my office door only to offer a smile and a more than confident "everything is fine". Being a woman means you know how to put the cape on and soar, but what about when you feel like your cape is strangling you and all the other women are soaring beautifully. In my immaturity I thought it was crazy to ask someone how they got where they were.

Every day I am learning that it is okay to ask other women how they keep their cape so shiny. It is okay to ask someone how they do what they do and all that they do. You are not weak because you need someone; you are not damaged because you have been broken. Broken crayons still color. You don't have to feel ashamed and let me tell you why--because every woman knows a thing or two about pain and rejection. Every woman knows that something can be wrong and you don't even know why, but if you never ask or talk to someone about it how will you know?

As a young woman I have often questioned why...why me...why right now...why not right now? The only answer I can come up with now is ‘if not me then who?’ Think about it...everything that you are going through right now is not happening by a mistake and if it is a mistake you are meant to learn. Learn to be intentional about you. In the midst of your mistakes, failures, and pain don't let it consume you. Refuse to let it consume you. I know it is easy to say and hard to do but every day if you make that choice to move on and stop suffering in silence, you will do it. If I choose to suffer in silence how do I grow? I complained about these tests and the weight on my shoulders, but I wasn't complaining when everything was good. See, nobody is bragging about being a caterpillar. Only the butterfly will get the shine, but the caterpillar is the glory to the story. I had to realize that every butterfly was a caterpillar first.

How do I break down to you how to get through what I went through and what you may be going through if I always appear perfect? I might look good on the outside, but you only see the glory--let me tell you my story. Purpose. Define what your purpose is so that you can understand why you go through the things you go through. In order to grow you must know. But in order to know you have to be aware of whom you are and where you are going.


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