Speaking up Trumps Shutting down

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“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” Coco Chanel

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I’m voting for Donald Trump. There, I said it.

And, believe it or not, this is not a political blog post. It’s a personal one, as well as the only one I could make sense of this week. The other post I tried to write during the wee hours after the Republican National Convention read like a crazy person wrote it, which is what happens when I shut up and shut down.

Yes, I am blogging about speaking up … again.

I stayed quiet early on about my vote because I was unsure even though I liked much of what Trump stood for. However, I thought, No way because he seemed an unlikely candidate and No way because others didn’t agree. Nonetheless, he’s the candidate out of 17 who came to mind every time I prayed for our country and about my choice. To clarify, I’m not saying Trump is God’s choice. I’m just telling you what happened when I prayed. As Trump’s popularity mounted, so did my confidence in my pick for President, but not to the point of sharing it with anyone.

I was vague about my vote when I posted an article on Facebook the night Trump swept my home state of South Carolina during the primary. The opinion piece I shared gave an accurate account of why voters like me showed up at the polls and cast the same vote I did. I agreed with its writer, I voted in part out of fear, but mostly I voted my conscience.

Click here to read the article by Andrew Shain @ thestate.com, “How Donald Trump won the SC GOP Primary.”

Aside from this story, I’ve remained silent and figured I’d lay low throughout the election. I mean, why speak up? Unless, of course, you’re a writer who is blocked because you’re not writing what you’re supposed to be writing …

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This whole speaking up thing resurfaced last Thursday evening while I watched the convention. I teared up when I heard how proud Ivanka was of her father. I planned to turn off Trump and finish my weekly blog post since time was running out, but I couldn’t break away. I was so stirred by his speech, I spent the evening supporting him on friends’ pages and commenting about highlights from his speech.

When it crossed my mind to share the same sentiments on my own page, I scared myself with images of what I’d seen for months on Facebook – unfriending, mocking, arrogance, and hateful criticism. I thought, I’m not writing about Trump anywhere online. It’ll have to be enough to cast my vote for him in November.

“If I feel strongly about something, I have a responsibility to speak up about it once.” Anonymous

Speaking aloud, like Coco said in her quote, helped me figure out a few things this week, and I figured them out fast.

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I figured out fast, voting is not enough. Not for me, anyway. Since I didn’t honor what I wanted to write on my Facebook page, I couldn’t put together a cohesive paragraph for last week’s half-finished blog post, the one about Focus. Yeah, I couldn’t focus on Focus. For days I couldn’t write. It seemed the only explanation was my brain shut down until I paid homage to my heart.

“What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us.” Gaton Bachelard

#SpeakUpinsteadofShutUpandShutDown

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I figured out fast, glossing over what a person doesn’t want me to say does not guarantee he/she will be a friend or even kind. It only guarantees I’ll have to do more glossing to maintain the relationship.

“We’ve all become so conscious of how we’ll be perceived and so frightened to possibly offend someone that we’ve filtered ourselves to what borders on dishonesty.” Aaron Blaylock

#SpeakUpinsteadofGlossOver

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I figured out fast, more is at stake than my writing. When I don’t speak up, I sacrifice my sanity and give up my dignity.

“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” James E. Faust

#SpeakUpinsteadofGiveUp

Now, maybe I can finish my blog post about Focus and move on to the next one.

#SpeakUp #withrespect #WhileLovingthePeopleInIt

In This Together,
Kim

Thanks for the photos, Pixabay.com.

 

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19 responses »

  1. We’re not voting for the same person. I won’t go into my reasons why as it doesn’t matter here. (I figured out who you were voting for sometime ago).
    The important thing is that we’re becoming friends. I like and respect you very much and hope that you feel the same way.
    We might differ politically but we both bleed red (I hope).
    Differences are what America’s all about!

    (I can’t log out of the account below, below, because WordPress seems to be prejudiced–against wordpress.org accounts, won’t let me back in or send me the password. Very longwinded explanation for why I’m putting my blog name here) Tani’s my middle name–under any of my names.

    ~pia
    http://courtingdestiny.com

    • Pia, we knew almost from the start our political beliefs were different and we decided to be friends anyway. Given we’ve overcome that hurdle, I think we may be stuck with each other for life. 😀 I love and respect you too. ❤ Thanks for showing up here for this post.

  2. So much of what you wrote rang familiar to me. I’ve also held back when politics were discussed, either in person and maybe especially online. Lately I’ve been more open to expressing my views and explaining when necessary – or possible. Some folks assume because they like you, you must think like them. Some folks think that everyone who thinks correctly, must think like them. Some folks think you must be uneducated, if you don’t think like them. In their cases, an explanation might help broaden understanding. In many cases, people have just decided their political beliefs long ago – once for all.

    • Your comment rings familiar also, Dana. Everything you said about folks, I’ve experienced. Since I’m a people pleaser, I want to keep letting them believe what they want to about me and I want to keep telling them what they want to hear so they’ll accept and like me. The only problem with that plan, the more I cower, the less I like myself. A friend told me once, “I don’t think you’re in any danger of getting out of hand and expressing your opinion too much, so why don’t you give it a try.” She encouraged me to at least say what I had to say even if I had no intention of defending it or arguing to be understood. I’m giving it a whirl.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! 😀

  3. This is incredibly sad news to hear. It will take some time to put together my thoughts as to why I am not making the same voting choice as you. It has to do with my family and speciffially my children, who are not of the same race as me. But I will speak up and say I am sick to my sromach. #makefunofdisabledpeople #hitback ##menstruationshame

    • Thanks for your comment, June. I just shared on my page the best explanation I’ve read as far as our votes being different. We do both agree about speaking up. ❤

  4. Kim, I’m so happy you decided to speak up and to write about your reluctance to do so. We’ve both been speaking up about a lot of stuff lately. As I was reading your post, Voltaire’s statement came to mind, that I disagree completely with what you said but will defend to the death your right to say it. To me, that’s what democracy is all about and, I pray, will continue to be all about. I think you and I have known all along that we’re on opposite ends of the political spectrum. We both want the same things, ultimately; we just disagree on the means of attaining them, and have both prayerfully come to opposite conclusions. I don’t think God tells any of us how to vote; he just helps us to be comfortable and courageous with our own conscience. You have shown courage in speaking up, and I will continue to applaud that and your honest writing. I hope our friendship will survive this crazy political year and that others don’t trash you or become vile because your belief is different from theirs.

    • Awww, Mary. I love your comment and I’ve always appreciated Voltaire’s quote. Thank you. I’m grateful I figured out why I was stuck and even more grateful I had courage enough to hit publish. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. 🙂

      I just shared a wonderful comment from a friend’s page about God and voting. It reminded me of another friend who got so upset during one election when her candidate, the one God told her to vote for, didn’t win. The experience shook her faith. I wish she could have read what’s on my page. Even though I don’t have those expectations, the post is enlightening and it’ll help when friends say they’ve prayed and heard the opposite.

      I can’t imagine our friendship not weathering this year and many more. ❤

  5. Kim:
    Isn’t it great to feel comfortable about speaking up and expressing You.
    Fear of offense keeps many ( me included of course) from doing that until it gets to the point where we just can’t hold back anymore.

    • It’s freeing, Joel. But I don’t think it should be so messy until I take into consideration relationships are complicated.

      The crazy thing is, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind, sway them to how I think, get anyone to agree, and I’m not going to argue, yet it still provokes some people when I (and anyone else) speak up. I understand, I guess, because some people are pusihing their agendas, but in a free country, we really could practice more tolerance for free speech.

      And come to think of it, that’s what I’m doing here. I’m practicing more tolerance for my own free speech by speaking up anyway, even if I’m met with opposition. I guess that’s my part of the double-sided problem. Whew, it felt good to write through this too. Feeling twice as free. 🙂 🙂

  6. Kim this blog post is my very most favorite one of yours so far. (might be because I needed it today) I so understand the sacrifice that is made when we gloss over our views and opinions. I also know the ramifications of shutting down. So much gets sacrificed from dignity, to health, to sanity. I love knowing that in a world where it can seem too scary to have our own opinions there are those who share my same struggles. The balance of holding my peace, and speaking my mind, sometimes can draw a very fine line. I’m getting better at walking that line and not making it a tight rope walk, but I’m far from “arrived”. I like to think I will be stronger some day and I wont feel concerned that I will lose something if I be myself and express myself. Love this post!

    • Jenine, I’d love to cut and paste this comment into my blog post. It’s perfect. I relate to the tight rope. It is a fine line. I wish you’d take this paragraph and expand it into your own blog post. I’d like to hear more from you on speaking up because I could use a post a day on the topic. 😀 Just a thought if you feel nudged to write one.

      Nudge, push, shove! LoL.

      I teared up at “I won’t feel concerned that I will lose something if I be myself and express myself.” Until now, I haven’t realized how much I’m controlled by my fear of loss (BIG deal to recognize this). I lost my family of origin during a particularly confusing and painful time of trying to figure out who I was and how to relate to them. I don’t regret our estrangement because I wouldn’t have lived if I had stayed. However, I am sad we never reconciled. We had years to work on it before they died, but they weren’t willing and I couldn’t fix us by myself.

      Have I told you lately how much I love you and our friendship? A lot. ❤

      • lol, I will have to consider that blog post. Its one I have to think about first, like another one I have considered. It really is quite fearful to open up what life tried so hard to close down. It takes PUSH just like birthing. God knows it hurts sometimes. (ok, I have some tears here). But, we are ALL worth it and worth any risk we take . The good news is we really don’t have to take that risk alone. You helped to show me that ! I love our friendship too! And… A LOT!

      • Jenine, you need to birth that baby. 🙂 You’re so right, “It takes PUSH just like birthing.” And it does hurt sometimes, but, lately, I’m feeling more freedom than fear. We’ll see if this lasts. Maybe I’m writing through it. I’m grateful I haven’t had to go this journey alone. ❤ We've got each other and our belt collections, so we're good.

      • Its interesting to read all of the different responses. Its almost like this election season is so heated with people that it has sparked responses even from a lot of those who normally would not say anything. Maybe the power of speaking up has something to do with how much we are passionate about the subject. I know for me, if I am real upset, it does not take me much to open my mouth and depending on what it is, I really don’t care what others think of me when I say it. It might not be the best response going but I do know that when things are volatile, then we tend to release opinion a whole lot easier. I had not mentioned who I am voting for in this post because I did not think the blog was about your choice, but your decision to make that choice and say so without fear. I think that is what the point was? Anyway, I have a very mixed ethnicity in my family. My children are all part Hispanic and one of my daughters was in a relationship with an African American man. My grand daughter is “a young lady of color” if that is the politically correct way to say it. I guess I am not basing my decision on who likes whom ethnically, but on who I think might be better for this country. Bottom line, regardless as to who wins the upcoming election, we are all going to have to work with that President . The higher question might be, what we can do for our country and our cause. I believe that is the sentiment of a former President, John. F. Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. There is a lot of wisdom in that quote.

      • Jenine, there’s a lot of wisdom in Kennedy’s quote, as well as a lot of wisdom in your comment. I love what you said about your family.

        This is a volatile election, but, you’re right, my post isn’t about the election. It’s about not letting fear and disapproval and shaming and intimidation and … and … and … keep me or anyone else from speaking up. My favorite quote from the blog post is by Gaton Bachelard, “What is the source of our first suffering? It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak. It was born in the moment when we accumulated silent things within us.” Being quiet has cost me too much, so I can’t afford to do it anymore.

        The good news is I’m married to a man who knows I’m sensitive, so he reminds me people are speaking and acting out of fear right now, which helps to keep in mind. I also have friends who I can vent to, like you. ❤

        You sound like my Air Force dad talking about working with the President. He sure honored whoever was in charge, like him or not.

        Thank you!

  7. From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~

    Danita Clark Able, Joan Pisani and 14 others

    1 share (Kelly Russell Guidera)

    Peggy New I like esp the quote by Aaron? Well spoken Kim.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 9:03am

    Kim Henson I loved all the quotes, Peggy New … but, then, I’m obsessed with them. I could collect quotes, put them together, and create my own book that way. 🙂 Thank you! ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 3:40pm

    Pia Savage Wrote a long comment on your blog! Differences are what America's all about. Thinking for yourself is the most important thing a person can do, me thinks.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · July 28 at 9:12am

    Kim Henson I thinks you thinks correctly. 😀 Thanks a lot for your comment, Pia Savage. I appreciate you. ❤
    Like · Reply · July 28 at 3:41pm

    Tammy James Quinn Thank you Kim!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 9:13am

    Kim Henson Thanks to you too, Tammy James Quinn! ❤
    Like · Reply · July 28 at 3:41pm

    Connie Gardner The news is out all over town 🎼
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 9:31am

    Kim Henson It sure is, Connie Gardner. It's not all rainbows and unicorns. LoL. You're too funny.
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 6:34pm · Edited

    Dana McNeely Loved your blog.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 9:51am

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Dana McNeely. I appreciate you commenting here and on my blog. ❤
    Like · Reply · July 28 at 3:44pm

    Jo Rae Johnson Jetton I'm with you!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 9:58am

    Kim Henson Thank so much, Jo Rae Johnson Jetton. ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 3:44pm

    Barbara Suggs Thank you, Kim!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 10:02am

    Kim Henson Thank bunches, Barbara Suggs. ❤
    Like · Reply · July 28 at 3:44pm

    Jenine Marie Howry I might have to read this later lol
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 10:53am

    Kim Henson Yeah, Jenine Marie Howry, because you're running your belt budget up and this may help you save money. 😉
    Like · Reply · July 28 at 3:45pm

    Jenine Marie Howry hehe, might be true! I did read it and commented
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 8:13pm

    Kim Henson Jenine Marie Howry, thanks. I'm going to walk up and down our street to get my steps, and then I'm reading your comment.
    Like · Reply · July 28 at 8:36pm

    Kim Henson Okay, couldn't wait and read it just now. i LOVE it! ❤ I'll comment over there when I get back.
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 8:37pm

    Mary McKerihan Wilson Kim, I left a comment on your blog. Thanks for speaking up–even though our beliefs are different.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 11:49am

    Kim Henson Thanks for being a good friend, Mary McKerihan Wilson. ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 3:46pm

    Christy Young I think you have had a great attitude throughout this election year Kim. You have been respectful, while still remaining true to what your beliefs are. I do believe a person's vote is valued, not just because it counts, but because it should be valued to them as well. Bravo to you in your approach on how you use your voice.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · July 28 at 2:56pm

    Kim Henson Christy Young, what a kind and important comment. Thank you! ❤ I teared up reading it because I've tried to keep a good attitude while weighing in on what I believe, when to talk, and what to say. There are lots of reasons this is hard for me and I'm …See More
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 3:54pm

    Christy Young Listening to what you are called to do couldn't be more important. The timing is not always convenient for us, is it? But it is perfect, to what, we may not know yet. I'm really proud of you. To be a light during this time is a pretty cool thing Kim. Well done.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 4:17pm

    Kim Henson Hahahaha, Christy Young. Yeah, it's not always convenient for us. That's an understatement. 😉 Thanks, friend! ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · July 28 at 4:19pm

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