Will My Real Inner Voice Please Stand Up

At a recent write-in meeting where a group of us writers gathered to well, write, someone mentioned how there are already so many stories and books out there and so many more on the way.  So why are we doing this, what’s the point?

I had been having thoughts along the same line myself, but not just about writing.  Anything that I have an interest in, whether it’s writing, astrology, music, or even Excel spreadsheets, there are already so many other people doing it and even better than I could ever hope to.  Who wants to work hard to be mediocre, to just be lost in the crowd of one of many.  This leads me to feeling defeated before I’ve even had a chance to begin.

While the feeling was swirling around in the background in myself, I had no answer or response to it, as if it was the whole of the argument.  That there was nothing left to be said about it, only something to come to peace with.

But when the question came from someone outside of me, surprisingly an answer came to my lips.

Every person has a unique way of viewing the world.  All 7+ billion people could write the same story and none of them would be the same.  Provided that all 7+ billion people had found their own unique self inside and had learned how to give it a voice.  That’s the difference for me (I realized in hindsight) between feeling defeated by my writing and it bringing me immense joy; which voice am I using?

Writing for me has always been about self therapy and helping me to find my voice.  I write myself silly when I’m alone trying to get all of the garbage and conditioning out of me so that maybe some room will be made inside of me to hear what it is that I have to say.

Sometimes I drift away and forget why I write and then it becomes more about trying to write for other’s enjoyment, when the only way it really works for me is when I write for my own enjoyment.

It’s not easy for me to keep a hold of myself and what I really feel and think.  Everyday I’m bombarded with so many opinions and popular beliefs of others in the world, that the delicate thoughts and feelings of myself (when I’m not around or influenced by anyone else), start to get buried and I forget that I didn’t feel like others did to begin with, especially if I’m tired and worn down by life.

Which I have felt tired and worn down the last couple of years.  I feel a little frustrated with me that I’ve lost ground and have to start the steady climb back up to uncover myself from all of the crap (news/politics, thoughtless/parroted opinions, awareness programs, shaming, etc.) going around, for the umpteenth time in order to rediscover my own voice.

But I know I have one.  I know how much joy writing brings me when I’ve found that voice and start using it, and so I know that while I’m tired of climbing this mountain, it’s completely worth it in the end. {Just keep swimming}  <– I’m trying to swim up mountains, maybe that’s a part of my problem.

I find that with anything I do, my motivation can’t be about doing it to be the best or for any kind of recognition at all.  It has to be because it brings meaning into my life.  Because it’s something that nourishes my spirit and soul.  Because it helps me find the places in which I’m in hiding and covered up, and washes it away so that I’m renewed.  Because I think ultimately what I want (if you were to hold me down and make me put it into words), is to give my soul an uninhibited voice in this world.

I feel the truer me inside rattling the prison bars that I’ve put her in with what has become too limited of thinking that I have arrived at with so much grief about things turning out as they did with my family.  Overwhelm of emotion and a feeling of powerlessness over what happened in my life led to parts of me having to shut down temporarily so that I could process everything in smaller chunks and gulps instead of trying to take it all in at once.  Necessary for short-term survival, yes, but it’s not an appropriate place to live permanently.

And so comes the uncomfortable part of the process, where it’s time to start walking beyond the hurt and grief and stretch myself back to more wide open skies so that I can see and breathe again.  Otherwise, my grief will become a habit and I’ll be stuck there for the rest of my life.  I have to rejoin life again even if I have to go kicking and screaming the whole way.

This part requires more courage on my part than surviving the hard times, because it requires that I trust in life and love again after being shown just how ugly life can sometimes get.  It requires that I trust in something bigger than myself.  It requires vulnerability at the deepest level.

Vulnerability because there are no promises that I won’t be subjected to something painful again.  There’s no way life can promise that.  But if I don’t take that risk or chance, then I also won’t get to know love anymore because closing to one, closes me to the other.

I didn’t go through all I’ve gone through to be here (being born, surviving puberty, etc.) just to lock up and die a slow death inside of myself just because tough things happen.  I came here to accomplish something and that something requires that I be of sound mind and health.  It requires that I be alive and feel all of the things that come with being alive, and not just the things that I want to feel, but ALL of the feelers.

Only when I reach that more balanced state in myself, only when I have healed myself, am I capable of beginning to understand and figure out what it is that I came here to do.  Until I’ve rediscovered myself and my voice, I don’t really have that much to offer anyone else.  I don’t have advice, solid opinions, clear perspective.  All I can really do is parrot what I’m hearing from others (or sharing confusing muddled half opinions of my own), and I don’t like doing that.  That makes me feel like a plastic robot and my soul yells and scratches me up from the inside in protest when I do that.

My authentic self, my truer voice, is what I’m searching for and the only way I want to express myself.  Which I *have* learned doesn’t necessarily mean being blunt, callous, defensive, etc.  I’m learning a softer more agreeable way.  One that works much better for me as well as others.  <–  It’s a process of trial and error.  So while I don’t like sharing anything less than my truer voice, I have to start somewhere which means practice and showing the messy road that leads me back there.

But it is *that* voice I feel is worth sharing in the world, even if it gets lost in the sea of a million other voices.  I am okay with that, because I’ve known no greater joy and satisfaction in life than when I’ve found and am using that voice.  And that’s something that comes from within me and that I have control over.  It doesn’t require that anyone else around me change or do anything differently.

when-you-find-your-voice-your-life-takes-on-grace-quote

It’s the Dutch Life For Me

Don’t worry, I don’t have anything remarkable to say.  I just need to get back into my writing game.  I’ve spent this month participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where you try to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  I’m currently around 55k, but my personal goal for the month is 75k.  And it’s not so much a novel as it is me doing a colossal pep talk to myself, with a minor in venting.

A lot has happened for me in the last year and a half.  My son has been sentenced to prison, I’ve left my job, moved to The Netherlands, and am now married.  I wanted the move to be as simple as possible, so I got rid of everything I owned and only took what I could fit in my suitcases and 6 small boxes that were mailed.  And two cat carriers, although mostly cats occupied those.  Along with fur and terror.

I still haven’t processed all of it.  My emotions haven’t caught up with all that’s happened.  Some days I wake up and it’s just sinking in that I got rid of this book or those pair of shoes.  I feel like the spirit in me moves at the speed of light, and then I have to wait patiently for all of my feelings and emotions to do their thing at their own pace, never to be rushed or pushed.  Until they do catch up, they are in a slushy frozen mix or numbed, slightly out of sync with what is currently going on.  I have to be still long enough for time to catch up to me and all the parts of me phase back together as a single being.

It’s different here in so many more ways than I had realized.  I could probably write a whole book just on that.  So many things that don’t matter when you’re visiting or a tourist, but that start to matter a whole lot in your day to day life.  I feel like I’ve slipped into a parallel dimension where everything is basically the same, but yet nothing is quite right.  Enough to make every day feel a little uncomfortable because nothing is really truly familiar.

Like sheets for the bed.  Thread count?  What’s that?  All sheets are the same, not so great, quality.  Slightly better than sandpaper.  I guess it’s good for exfoliating.  Showers.  It’s more typical to have a shower stall than a shower/tub.  I want my goddamn tub back.  There’s no such thing as biscuits here.  Not even the KFCs here have biscuits.  I’ve checked all of them.

They use the 24 hour clock and so for 12 hours of the day I’m having to do math to understand what time it is.  In dates, the day is before the month, which makes it more confusing for me for the first 12 days of each month.  They have 10-15 minute intermissions at the movies.  The movies have stale popcorn that is popped somewhere else and then brought to the concession stand where they sit under heat lamps until purchased.  Some theaters have “nachos” with only salsa.  But no cheese.  No.  Cheese.  Why would you do that?

Everyday I am faced with words I don’t understand.  Going through the grocery store can be a bit of a stresser.  “What’s that?  How do you say it?  What is this ingredient in Dutch?  2 sticks of butter?  How many grams is that?  How many ounces in a liter?”  And speaking of conversions, what’s the temperature outside?  Oh 22 Celsius?  Oh okay.  Seems warmer than that.  The number . . . seems a little . . . low.  <sigh>

It’s going to take some time to adjust, I know.  Establishing new routines, making new friends and networks.  New language, new culture.  Different.

I know it may sound to some like I’m complaining, but I’m not.  There are stresses that come with all of this, certainly, but I enjoy change and learning new things.  I also like to sound like I’m bitching about things, when really I’m just having fun sharing what I’ve discovered.  It’s all in fun.

We’ve begun meeting new people, and I have to tell you that there are some fantastic people here.  It has made a world of difference in helping me adjust to my new home.  It stops feeling like I’ve left so much behind and starts feeling like I have so much more to gain.  It helps anchor in me the understanding that I just need patience in letting things settle and take hold, to root.  With time, things will stop seeming so foreign and different to me and start feeling like my place, my home.

Something that has helped me anchor in the past, is writing.  As I mentioned briefly in another post, I’ve struggled with my writing this past year.  I’ve been so unsettled and up in the air.  I want to get back to it though.  It’s time to pull myself back together and get back into what I do.  If that means writing a string of boring posts, then that is what I’ll do, so long as it gets me used to writing again.

Writing that 55k words to myself helped me get this far, and now I’ll carry on that effort both there and here.  Writing regardless of whether I feel I have something to say or not, helps me get past worrying about what to write about and whether it’s good enough to post.  Screw it, just get it out there. 🙂

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Leadership Fail

I’ve more or less been quiet about the politics because I’m struggling to properly verbalize my feelings about it, especially since it doesn’t really match what my friends and family are saying, and it’s harder for me than I think people realize, to speak differently from what my friends and family think.

While we may all have our differences (which I believe a majority of it has more to do with misunderstandings within ourselves and with each other than any true differences between us), I feel that the bigger issue at hand is coming to terms with the understanding of how our government and leadership has long since failed us and our country.

They are not behaving as true leaders should.  True leaders empower and unite the people.  They’ve done nothing but divide and seed hate between us.  True leaders have impeccable integrity and take responsibility for all failures that happen under their guidance, whether it is truly their fault or not and then take the necessary steps to make it right again.  All I see from our leadership is blaming, manipulating, excuses, distorting the truth, etc.  True leaders serve the people, not themselves and each other.  I see our leadership serving the rich and the corporations.

Parents are leaders in a way.  Can you imagine parents telling their kids that the reason they don’t have as much is because kids from other houses are coming over and taking their things?  What kind of relationship do you think those kids would have with the neighbor kids?  They would probably grow to dislike or even hate those neighbor kids.  And is it even true, or is it laziness and mismanagement on the parent’s part?  The parents (leaders) set the mood for the household (country).

Many citizens, whether they realize it or not, look to our leadership to help understand the world they live in.  Not everybody is intelligent and that shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of.  Do you understand how hard it is to not be razor sharp intelligent in this world?  It’s like an unforgivable sin.  But the reality is that some of us aren’t that smart and look to our leaders and elders as role models, very much in the way that children look to their parents to understand things.

So is our country really full of hate for immigrants and other races?  Or is it more to do with how our leadership and government deals with issues?  Are the people playing out the shadow side of the leadership?  Are they being made the scapegoat for the things our government is mismanaging?

While I have so much more to say, I’m going to leave it here for now because I can hardly take any more talk about politics myself.  I just wanted to put it out there for what it’s worth, that maybe there’s more to it than who a person supported or voted for.  I honestly don’t like seeing Trump supporters being beaten over the head or talked down to any more than I like seeing minorities becoming scared in their own country.

Our leadership has failed us, but I feel that maybe if we could stop and really hear each other out, that we would ultimately discover that we all really want the same things.  Not everyone is good at communicating what they feel.  Sometimes what is said is not really what was meant, and it takes a skilled listener to get at what someone really means.  Maybe in this way we could take steps on our own to try to reunite our country ourselves.  I feel this may be the only real option we have at this stage in the game.

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Be You Now

I know I’ve been away a little while. I’ve struggled with writing in the last year and I’m currently in the process of rebuilding myself and confidence enough to be able to return. I’m still here, I’ve just temporarily been set back. It shouldn’t be much longer, I feel I’m nearly ready – but in the meantime, I wanted to reblog this post because it reminds me of who I am when I’m okay and at peace with myself. It makes me feel empowered because it’s something I can do to help myself that isn’t dependent on anyone else . . . to just be me with all of my heart.

And really, I think with all of the fear and aftermath of the elections, that others could maybe use this message too. I feel there is a misunderstanding in ‘I’m just being myself’ getting mixed up with it being okay to be an asshole, and that is absolutely wrong. That’s not the truth of you or anybody. That’s a person who is covered up in hurt, conditioning, and muck. When you dig deep inside and discover the real you for the first time, it brings with it a sense of peace and power that borders on magical and truly transforms your life and world. It’s not easy to get to, otherwise we’d all be there by now. I hope this brings at least one of you some relief from all of the mayhem in recent days . . . even if just for 5 minutes. Somehow, someday, it’s really going to be okay.

Show Me Who You Really Are

I really push myself to expand beyond my comfort zone for these posts.  I’m starting to get a feel for the process and the feeling that comes when I’ve reached the place in me that has something that wants to be shared.  A unique combination of feelings start to unfold and I feel the usual tension in my midsection start to let go, and I literally. . . feel my being begin to expand outward past my normal limits.  My awareness becomes bigger.

Today I felt it come on during my walk.  I felt it start to happen. . . and could feel a part of me feel scared about that bigness, and try to resist or convince it to go back in its cage.  But, my bigness just held the space and said quietly . . . “Why?”  And then the Resistance was gone, seeing that Bigness meant business.

But the answer…

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