A couple of weeks ago, I was extremely afraid. I wanted to speak up, but it felt much easier to stay silent. Or rather, I needed to speak up but was afraid of the response. There was an 95 percent chance that things wouldn’t end well.
Okay, I exaggerate. I’m not saying that I would die or get physically injured or even be screamed at, but I likely wouldn’t get the response I desired. I’m talking about the likelihood of a very high rejection rate.
I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t say what I wanted to say. I knew I’d feel even worse if I stayed silent. But I was scared. The pain I’d feel if rejected felt very real.
So I vented to Jane about how I felt safer staying quiet because I didn’t want to bring almost certain pain into my life. Even though I knew what I needed to do, it sucked that I could predict the future pain from doing it. And it was then that she said to me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard in my adult life.
She said “yeah, it’s going to probably hurt. It’ll probably hurt very bad. But okay. So what?”
The revelation feels groundbreaking. Things may hurt, very badly even, but so what? So what?
Can you live with the pain of things hurting? Yes. And when you can live with that pain and be brave in the face of it, the world opens up.
Suddenly, suddenly everything is doable. Even the most immense impending hurt can’t stop you. It can bring you to your knees and it can make you cry. For awhile even.
But so what?
I ended up saying what I needed to say, and I was extremely relieved I did. And the hurt still came on strong. The rejection felt intense and stung with pain.
But so what? So what??
I’m still here. And I’m okay.