Queen Nefertari

“Speak now or forever hold your peace.”

These are the words that –
like an alarm –
woke me from a deep sleep
at 3am.

Who makes this kind of ultimatum?
Especially when that “peace” is violence perpetrated against us?
Especially when that “peace” results in residual and pervasive shame?
Especially when that “peace” means abdicating our throne
so someone else can claim power?

The truth is…
when told to,
“Speak now or forever hold our peace,”
many of us remain silent.

Even though every fiber of our being may be screaming out
to be heard, witnessed, acknowledged,
our bodies remember the betrayal
of “speaking now.”

From being burned at the stake,
drowned in a lake,
stoned to death,
or forced into hiding…
If it isn’t safe to speak,
we “forever hold our peace.”

But forever is a long time
to bear the burden
of silence.

If it takes a lifetime
to speak your truth,
so be it.

There is no time limit
to the truth.

And if it appears as if
no one is listening,
no one believes you,
it doesn’t change a thing,
and life as you know it is over …

Rest assured,
your actions have set cosmic consequences in motion.

Because when one woman speaks her truth –
publicly, calmly, confidently –
and is mocked by people of power and privilege,
it send shockwaves
of rage and outrage
that transmutes into courage
and rallies the rest of us
to stand fully in our power
and do the same.

“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind–even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.”  – Maggie Kuhn