I have a love-hate relationship with flying.
I love it because it offers so many fabulous metaphors for life.
But once we are at 30,000 feet, my mind starts asking too many questions.

What happens if someone accidentally leans on the door release button?
Is it possible for turbulence to shake the screws loose?
Is the pilot in a good mood today, and did he get enough sleep last night?

So last week, when I found myself in the beloved middle seat of an airplane,
all I wanted was for the window guy to keep up the shade for the first part of the flight.
I needed visual confirmation that we were safely ascending.
Therefore, before takeoff, I found myself putting on an Oscar-worthy performance, pretending to be captivated by every tarmac vehicle and suitcase.
If I showed even a hint of disinterest, my window-seat neighbor would most likely shut the shade.

This went on for a solid 30 minutes.
I could have broken the silence with a quick, Mind if we keep this open for takeoff?
Three seconds of bravery.
Instead, I chose thirty minutes of silence and staring at luggage trucks.

Which begs the question:
Why do we choose the comfort of non-confrontation over the discomfort of speaking the truth?

There are a myriad of reasons behind our choice to suffer in silence.
Often, it’s about the fears and insecurities that whisper doubts into our hearts.
Questions like
Am I being too sensitive? or Will I be liked less?

It’s a sneaky thing, insecurity.
It doesn’t roar. It whispers.
Nudging you to choose the safe route.
To avoid the potential fallout of speaking up.

Now, I’m not advocating for a world where every inner thought gets its moment in the spotlight.
Not every opinion needs to headline open mic night.
There’s a virtue in restraint.
In choosing your moments of candor with care.
But opting to stay quiet when you should speak up can make the unsaid feel heavier than anything you might have said in the first place.

If you recognize yourself anywhere in these scenarios, take heart.
There is hope to find that balance.
Breaking free from this cycle of silent suffering is not only possible, it is a transformation you can start today.

The first step to dismantling the walls of silent suffering is to start an honest dialogue with yourself. Start by asking these questions:
Am I choosing silence out of fear?
Am I quieting my voice to keep the peace, at the cost of my own peace of mind?

Start by looking for everyday opportunities where the stakes are low, like voicing a preference for where to eat, suggesting a plan when you’re with family or friends, or giving feedback in a group discussion. These are moments where the consequences of speaking up are minimal, yet they offer valuable practice.

Each instance where you express yourself builds your confidence, gradually making it easier to speak up in more significant, challenging situations.
This isn’t about overnight transformation but taking small, consistent steps toward living freely with the voice and desires God put in our hearts.

It’s like flexing a muscle.
The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
You will start living a life where your actions and words actually align with your values.
This kind of honesty makes our interactions richer and more meaningful.
Ultimately, you will begin to cultivate a space where your relationships are rooted in the real, raw, and beautiful parts of living authentically.