Nowadays, I go ahead and say things out-loud.
Who’s with me?
It used to take me a lot longer than it does now, but the not speaking up? That, my dear, is where the pressure really builds up–the moment you realize you lost your voice somewhere along the way–or maybe the day you realize you’ve never really used your own voice of truth before. Sure, you might have used it to speak up for others, you might even passionately use your voice on someone else’s behalf–but what happens when it’s about you or for you?
Mine used to go something like this (on the inside):
Wait. Did I just see what I think I saw?
Did that really just happen?
Was that as crazy and absurd as I think it was, or was that just me?
What. in. the. HELL?
I don’t know what to do with this.
WHAT. IN. THE. HELL!?!
The “spin cycle” of questioning my own senses and sensibilities wasn’t comfortable. It sucked dead rats. And it continued to suck dead rats until I started paying attention and trusting what I knew. When I would finally say it out-loud to myself, the spin cycle would start to slow down further and further as I began asking myself what was really true.
Okay, the truth is, it does feeeel like I don’t know what to do with this–these circumstances, these feelings, this stuff, this nagging, tangled place I’m in . . . for right now.
But what DO I know?
Is there even one little-bitty choice I can make here?
Is it simply just a choice between two (or more) very sucky things?
Am I just too afraid to say what I need to say, or do what I need to do for my own well being?
Or, am I just afraid right now because
the truest answer to my most burning
questions seems too painful to answer.
I dared to start trying to answer my own questions, to start taking a small inventory of what I actually know about myself. It can start anywhere but I started easy, “So, what’s MY favorite ice cream?” or, “Do I really like this shirt I’m wearing?” Yes. I started there.
Based on what I really knew about myself, could I trust myself to be my own best guardian? Would I buy myself cherry walnut ice cream (which is yuck to me), or what I prefer most, pistachio almond ice cream with a giant spoon? As my preferences began to matter things began to shift. Along this journey back to myself, I sought Divine wisdom, human helpers and teachers, I deeply studied well-respected and scholarly opinions on the matters at hand, I paid for guidance, I experienced big feedback–and then I started paying attention to the part of me that needed a voice, needed compassion, and that needed me to show up and attend.
And I was afraid . . .
until I learned how to start trusting myself again.
No way did it happen overnight. Anyone who knows me today can testify that I’ve taken the long way around, traveled through some littered, dumpy back roads with polluted scenery and even encountered the occasional scary carnival clown. Growing up, I was a passenger, I couldn’t always put the brakes on and pull u-turns on the low roads, but I always knew I would if I could–even when it meant I had to sweat blood to push myself to (and past) the point of fatigue, back up the hill on a very low tank of gas. It does get hard.
And after that, it gets much, much easier.
As far back as anyone can remember, the sun has come up again every single day. As a matter of fact, it has risen to almost high-noon right now as I’m writing this to you; and yet, just three days ago, it was hidden behind some clouds.
And yet, I refused to allow myself to pretend the sun just wasn’t there.
For each time the Truth seemed to hurt
For each time compassion met you at the depth of your pain.
For every sacred moment you recognize in real time.
My story might be your medicine, and your story might be mine.
There’s more for you, Truthfairy.