||Embracing the Roar||

I have really bold women in my life. They teach me that knowing what you want and how to get it is not a bad thing. They teach me that embracing the courage and strength you naturally posses are not as negative as perceived. These women are the greatest examples of my own namesake eloquently displayed in their lives. Somehow along the way, generic even though I have been influenced by proud and strong women, about it I have conditioned myself to believe that staying silent is better and pleasing people is more important. I have convinced myself that saying yes is a necessity despite how it may affect me negatively and expressing what I’m feeling isn’t something that always needs to happen. Yes, case somehow along the way, I have turned down the lioness roar given to me from day one so that it’s nothing but a sweet little murmur that only comes out when I get hurt.

Lately, I’ve been in positions where I’ve had to differentiate between selfishness and rightly being able to express how I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it. Where I’ve had to find the line between honesty and biting my tongue so not to tread too heavily on truth.

Despite contrary belief, being emotionally vulnerable with people on a one on one basis is really hard for me sometimes. Sure, I can spill all the emotions out on a piece of paper but it neglects the eye contact, the awkward silence and the heaviness that comes with bleeding in front of other people and just waiting to see if they’ll help you clean up after. So when it comes to spilling and bleeding it’s so much easier on paper…it’s so much safer there.

You see, I have a tendency to breathe pretty.

To tell you sweet things, filtered nicely and without any sting of truth and if there is a sting? Best believe I will bandage you up nicely with some sort of formulated response to make sure at the end of the day you’re still comfortable with me. And to top it all off I will smile sweetly, close my mouth shut and move forward… suppressing the slow courageous growl in my stomach to be submissive.

As far as I’m concerned, for the majority of my life I considered myself pretty invisible. Kept to myself, didn’t say much only said what was approved by others and kept it at that. I’m learning that this namesake that is slowly shape shifting around who I am becoming is not just about being passionate about my art or the gift God has given me, it’s about refusing to belittle this roar in my vocal chords. It’s about not allowing my insecurities to trample on what I have to say.

It’s about refusing to allow myself to get hurt just because communicating emotions it’s just so dang risky sometimes.

Last night, we had an intern initiation at my church. Our pastor, Albert Tate communicated to us that this is a season of risk taking and dreaming big and if we don’t do something that scares us, then we’re not growing. The thought of not pursuing other people’s comfort with me scares me. The thought of not being liked or approved of terrifies me. But then I remember whoops… I’m not here to make people comfortable. I’m not here to kiss wounds I didn’t create and beat myself up for not doing so. I’m not here to turn off who I was created to be.

I’m here to be. And if that’s to find the boldness tucked deep within this flesh, then that’s what I will do.

Arielle means Lioness of God. Each day, I am slowly learning how to allow the lion in me to unapologetically breath, express and be. To embrace courage and boldness, not as something to be ashamed of but realize that being bold and being courageous IS NOT A BAD THING. The world waters it down and boxes us in the word bossy. But there is nothing domineering about telling you where we stand and why we stand there, expressing how we feel and why we feel it, is not a command…it is a right and one that is absolutely ours to have.

Everyone has a little bit of a lions roar in his or her gut but it’s up to us to let it be all that was created to be.

Here’s to walking boldly and unashamed. Here’s to the lions roar, may it echo greatly.

UncategorizedArielle Estoria