Speakeasy. A piece inspired by the heart.
It is said that actions speak louder than words, but I'm a proponent for words being pretty powerful too. When you use your words for good, it's amazing how easily you can be the sunshine in someone's otherwise cloudy day. For me, I was recently inspired by someone reaching out to me with the words, "I thought of you". With 4 simple words, I was immediately inspired to share that moment. And the best part was that I wasn't even having a cloudy day -- though, it likely was a cloudy day. I do still live in Scotland, you know. Regardless, the thoughtfulness and kindness of those words brought a smile to my face, and that won't be forgotten.
Unfortunately it's not always so easy to use your words, is it? Words are easier to find and express in moments of happiness and congruity, but not so in times of conflict. I personally haven't always been able to speakeasy. I've struggled with speaking up or challenging the status quo in the past because I was fearful my words would rock the boat. They weren't necessarily hurtful words, but I knew they'd compromise the situation. Too many times, the only way I was able to find the words and use my voice, was when I had nothing to lose. By not speaking up sooner, the only relationship I compromised was the one with myself. This is a valuable lesson I could have only learned in hindsight. Unquestionably, that's what my time abroad has shown me. I don't have anything to lose as long as I stay true to myself. When I have myself to depend on, there's no need to lack confidence in my own character or voice. And I've found my voice, through writing, but also in life. I prefer to use my words for good, to inspire, motivate, and support. I don't believe in speaking out to inflict harm or spread negativity. It's not the language of my heart. Now, that is not to say I won't say something that will challenge, anger, or disappoint someone else. That's the risk you take when you speak from the heart. People will shy away from the truth, like they shy away from what's unpleasant. The secret of being able to speakeasy is this: alignment of what's in your heart, your words, and your actions. When these 3 are aligned, you -- and anyone else for that matter -- will not and can not question your integrity.
A novel I recently read talked about the universally accepted definitions of good and evil. (Shameless Shantaram plug alert! READ it. I promise it will enchant you.) Good is anything that helps move the universe towards God, or the Ultimate Complexity. Evil then, is anything that works against the movement towards God. Further to the definition, it explains that though something is universally "wrong", sometimes we as humans have to do the wrong thing, for the right reason. I say this because sometimes a perceived wrong action has to be taken to follow that "right" reason in your heart. I am not perfect in this approach -- yet. But, I have learned this much about myself -- if I can align my heart, words, and actions, I will be true to myself, and in turn, true to everyone around me.
As my beloved Zac Brown said, if you're too busy talking, you're not busy listening. In this case, my heart just wanted to be listened to before it would teach me how to speak.