It’s pretty common to seek out the nearest fitting room when we’reshopping for clothes, wanting to try-on our thoughtful selections before committing to a purchase. The retail associate carefully counts the “pieces” and hands us a number, evidence of the permission we’ve been granted to go behind closed doors with unpaid merchandise.
Tucked inside the privacy of that cramped, little space, we try on an assortment of new things, take a look in the mirror, and assess whether or not everything fits. How does it look and how do I feel? Or, how does it feel and how do I look? Perhaps more important, what will other people think and feel when they see me in this snazzy, new outfit? Will anyone else even see “snazzy” or will they see “sleazy?” (Of course, that sort of depends on who’s answering the question.) Unless we have a very good friend along for the ride, we’re left to make our own decision as to what constitutes a good fit.
Let’s put this same idea into play when it comes to speaking our truth, saying what’s on our minds and sharing what’s in our hearts. Do we assess the proper fit before we commit with our words? My own observation would suggest we have a fair mix of those who step into the fitting room, as quiet as a church mouse, and those who clearly opt for the “unfitting” room, as brash and abrasive as a bull in a china shop. (Surely, a few folks are coming to mind.)
If you find yourself in a deafening world of silence, worried about what other people might say or think if you speak your mind, perhaps it’s time to step into the “unfitting” room – a wide open space that doesn’t ask us to examine what fits properly. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m all about respectful conversations (without a lot of bull!), listening intently and honoring deeply the thoughts and opinions of others, particularly when they differ from my own. I’m merely suggesting that what you have to say has no place inside the confines of a fitting room where no one else will notice you.
You see, our words are what speak us into existence. If you don’t say what’s there for you, people will never know who you are, how you think, what you feel, and what it is that you have to offer the world. After all, aren’t you worth it? Of course you are. And, if you’re not entirely convinced, don’t just take my word for it. Simply try it on for size. (Number, please!)