Where was I?
Oh yeh, mid-whine ...
So to put it all together, I realize now that my voice has always been there. Buried deep perhaps under layers of fear, doubt and shame, but there nonetheless. From the time I was 15 I only spoke in places I felt really safe - a psychaitrist's office, to start with. As I got older I found reguge in 12-step meetings, church, my Sweetie's arms, and most recently my writing.
For most of those years I never trusted my own voice or believed that anything I had to say was important. Likewise on the outside chance that I could think of something worth saying, I didn't trust other people not to put me down or make fun of me. Yikes, I was a big ball of fear and anger. What does that spell but depression?
If I only knew then what seems so clear now. I can't go back in time and change things but here are some things I can try to do now that might put me back on a footing equal with that girl I used to be.
- I can wrap my heart around skinny, nerdy Mary and give her the high five she deserved back then. I can be her cheerleader and coax her into telling her stories. Better late than never, right?
- I can learn to give as much credence to my own voice as that of others. Whether other people agree with me or not, I have a right to speak my truth.
- I can pick and choose what is important enough to me to debate.
- I don't have to raise my voice, or stomp my feet, or cry to be heard.
- I can practice the golden rule of listening - Listen to others as I would have them listen to me. In other words give people, no matter their age, my full attention by using my eyes and heart as well as my ears.
- I can keep writing.
- I can stop looking for approval in all the wrong places.
Like a lot of other challenges I put before myself, these sound easy enough. I suspect, however, I'll have trouble with putting them in practice. But for today (and the last week) I've got the awareness going for me. Change can't really begin to take place until there is an awareness.
I'm an old dog trying to learn a new trick,