I have spent much of my life passionately “speaking truth to power.”  Yet reflecting on the times that I have spoken out or stood up for something, I am aware of so many missteps, mistakes, missed opportunities, and misunderstandings.  What comes to mind are the times I failed to speak out or the times I did speak out but, in looking back, feel that I shouldn’t have.  Trying to find an answer to this query left me feeling, at first, like something like a failure.

 

There are, however, two times when I spoke out that I do not second guess.  One was when I realized that my father was molesting my stepsister and I confronted him.  Although he denied it, he immediately left the relationship with her mother, and so the abuse ceased.  The second time was when I reported that a foster child was being abused in a relative’s home.  Again, the charge was denied, but the child was eventually removed from the home.

 

Thinking about this, a couple of things became clear to me.  First, I realized that most of the time when I regretted speaking out I had done so on my own behalf.  Perhaps I thought I was being treated rudely or unfairly.  Yet much of the time I have been overly sensitive or what I thought was malfeasance was just human error.  But in both of the cases above I was speaking out on behalf of someone weaker and less powerful than I was who had no one else to speak for them. 

 

Secondly, I realized that often when speaking out I have been led not by the Light but by my own ego, agenda, fears or misapprehensions.  When speaking out for my stepsister and foster nephew, however, I was being led by the Spirit of Love.

 

There are some lessons in all of this for me.  One is to discern why I feel led to speak out and for whose benefit I am speaking.  Another is to speak out of a sense of love for all involved in the situation.  And lastly, is to hold myself compassionately as I navigate these waters.

- Mica