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

Tarred, Feathered, and Upside Down on the Tree of Life

Snip snip goes the scissors cutting the strings, separating me further from the life I’ve known.  Having always played by the rules, always taken the harder path.  Worked hard.  Always I’ve worked hard.

Fighting to survive . . . fighting to not give up.  Never feeling like I’m enough.  I must learn more, do more, be more.  Then . . . maybe then I’ll be enough.  Maybe then I won’t have to fight so hard to exist, to live.  Maybe then I won’t have to work so hard to prove that I’m worth having here.  That I’m worth feeding, worth housing without working myself into an early grave.

Always haunted by this feeling that if I don’t do as I’m told, then my basic necessities for survival will be ripped from underneath me.  Keep in line, keep my mouth shut, and do as I’m told or I could be out on my ass.  Over time, I pulled any parts of myself that might get me into trouble or fired so that I could continue providing for my family.  Not wanting to be a burden on anyone.

I worked so hard for so long, doing everything right.  Willingly and consciously sacrificing myself for my son to have a solid foundation in which to begin his own life.

He turned 20 this September.  He tried to call me, but I found that I couldn’t answer.  The pain and disappointment of what he’s done is just now starting to sink into me, especially upon hearing how many years in prison he’ll most likely be serving.

“What was it all for?” I ask myself.  “What was the point of all of my sacrifice?  . . . What is the point of me now?”

Since the fateful day of seeing the news clip which featured my son being walked into court in handcuffs, I have found it increasingly difficult to stuff myself away in the name of necessity and survival.  It’s become more difficult to keep my mouth shut about what I’m really feeling.  Less effort goes into trying to be invisible.

It’s hard to be afraid of what others may think or do to you when the one thing that had made your life worth living has been taken away from you.

I have lived such a muted and unexpressed life.  I have played it so safe.  I have so much more inside of me than I’ve dared to show or share.  I would deeply regret my life if I failed to live up to my true potential, and so far I’ve barely tapped into it.

I found out a little over a week ago that my current work assignment will be ending, today being my last day.  Being a consultant, my agency is looking for a new assignment, but I can’t help but feel like the universe is trying to get a message across to me with all the kicking, biting, and slapping it’s doing while I’m face first in the dirt.

If ever there was a time in my life that I was being given the green light to start doing my thing, this would be it.  A world turned upside down with everything I’ve known until now being ripped away from me all at once.  There is a rare freedom felt in a moment like that.  Freed from the fear of loss with everything to gain.