"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I posted this quote today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It made me think long and hard about what so many women and men are doing right now. What a gift to have the ability to share your truth so easily through social media. If you're the one speaking out, it can also be a curse when others want to silence you. As my law enforcement partners and friends have said: "Sadly, Kiers, you have to protect yourself." And they're right.
I knew the risk when I started speaking up but I also knew the power in openly sharing the truth despite waves of fear—sharing the whole truth including my mistakes, nosedives, naivety, and weaknesses. To share the part of me that fed on the intoxication of the "love" drug and did whatever she could to feed the addiction, even if it meant hurting those closest to me and allowing abuse. Believe me, it was much easier to be the mom in the garage who won a deal on Shark Tank. I was comfortable there. Since it's human to want acceptance and validation, that persona was a damn good one that was widely accepted by many. But was it the full truth? Nope. We are human beings which means we're complicated—consisting of both light and dark, even if we don't want to believe it or see it.
We live in a world that wants to keep a lid on the bad stuff. "Don't air dirty laundry," they say. It's why generation after generation, cycles of abuse replay like a skipping record on a turn-table.
Guess what happens when we get REALLY FREAKIN' REAL? Light illuminates the dark spaces.. Light helps others see they truly have choices, no matter if they feel they've made their bed or just hadn't been shown how to take the blinders off.
"I didn't know what I was enduring wasn't normal until I started to read your blog. I read everything you write. And now, I'm taking my life back."
"The more I read, the more I understand what I went through during my first marriage, and why I felt powerless to change it."
"Every time you tell your story, I feel like I get a little bit healthier and further away from his sadistic ways. So please continue to write your story and know that all of us caught in his web of deceit and lies are better off every time you do."
This is what healing and forward movement looks like to me—my healing and others. We're not all bad nor are we all good, but if we want to continue to grow and evolve as individuals and as a global society, we have speak out about the dark side of life and our part in it.
On this MLK Day, I am eternally grateful for Dr. King and other trailblazers—then and now—that push us to ditch the rose-colored glasses and speak about things that hurt all of us. It is only through speaking the truth and owning our actions, that we can bring more light and tolerance to the world.
Thank you, Dr. King, for continuing to shine like the sun, lighting our way to a better future.