I’m at work today and feel like crap. Now it’s not a mental crap but physical. The physical feeling is from either not enough or too much sleep. I feel kinda lazy and tired. I want to go to sleep and feel something other than exhaustion when I get back up.
I wish that things were different sometimes. I wish that things would change for the better. I just want things to change and they be positive. I need things to change because I feel stuck. I fell stuck in the past and what had happened to me.
I feel the need to change for the better. I feel the need to have some me time. I want they to be a difference between me and her. I need to be different than her. I feel the need to be better than her because she’s a dumb ass. All she wanted was kids and now it seems she’s regrets having them with who she had them with. Her husband cheated on her with their roommate and get best friend (same person). Things will not go the way she wants them to. Yet all she does is complain and ask my boyfriend to pay for shit for her and her husband.
Ugggggggggggggggggggggh it’s so aggravating. I’m sorry this is so long but I needed to rant. Thank you for reading.
Kim Johnson. Kim comes on The Bipolar Writer Podcast at my behest to share her story like all the interviewees that come on and share what she does for a living (life coaching) and sharing her wisdom. Doubt can always creep into our lives, and it can be hard to move on from the past.
Today’s episode features an interview with the founder of Grounds for Clarity, Kim Johnson. Kim comes on The Bipolar Writer Podcast at my behest to share her story like all the interviewees that come on and share what she does for a living (life coaching) and sharing her wisdom. Doubt can always creep into our lives, and it can be hard to move on from the past. Kim discusses many essential topics connected to these things that include LivingWorks and how one conversation with her is perhaps what you are looking for right now, in the mental illness community like myself. I have firsthand experience with Kim’s brand of life coaching, and it has helped me be aware of life around me, be open to feelings and emotions, be vulnerable, find ways to live in the now, and work on the inner I. What is unique is that life coaching is not telling you what you need but instead giving you the tools you already have within you.
Alaina became an advocate for mental health in 2017 following a psychotic episode. During this episode, she experienced delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Initially, she was diagnosed with brief psychotic disorder, which mental health professionals believed was stress-induced, as Alaina was a full-time Ph.D. student. Later in the same year, Alaina's diagnosis changed to bipolar I disorder. While she did not complete her Ph.D. program, she is currently in school for ultrasound, and she will begin a master's program in health administration in the fall of 2021.
If you would like to know more about Alaina, you can follow her blog at http://www.thebipolarbuzz.com and subscribe to her YouTube channel, Alaina Raquel.
If you are looking for all things James Edgar Skye, you can find his social media visiting https://linqapp.com/james_skye
The Bipolar Writer Podcast is listener-supported, and for as little as $5 a month, you can help support the mental health advocacy that I do by visiting http://www.buymeacoffee.com/jamesedgarskye. Please help this podcast grow by sharing with friends or anyone that you think will benefit from the experiences of others and myself.
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I went into my first week with an open mind and heart. I knew I wanted real change, and to really get the most out of the four-month-long journey that I was about to embark on, I had to be willing to change. Kim does not promise results because change is ultimately up to you. What she does offer is her presence in your journey. That is very empowering.
Take a good look, this is James Edgar Skye before he decided to make a life changing investment into his future and took on a life coach. I wanted to post this picture here because it is important to who I was when starting this journey. We all have to begin somewhere, and this is where I will be a different person by the end of my four month eighteen week long journey.
Last month, I took a chance and decided to seek life coaching with Kim Johnson, founder of Grounds for Clarity. I began last week with my first session. The decision was the right one at the right time in my life. I have been down a spiraling path that was not who I was in 2019, and to be honest, most people are not on the same path in 2020. I have been struggling to find myself within the confines of identities and projects that have made it easier to not deal with the glaring issues in my life. Starting a business from the ground up, even with my experiences, has been tough on me. I have not given myself time to grieve my mom’s loss, and I am dealing with a lot of self-doubts in my professional writing life.
I went into my first week with an open mind and heart. I knew I wanted real change, and to really get the most out of the four-month-long journey that I was about to embark on, I had to be willing to change. Kim does not promise results because change is ultimately up to me. What she does offer is her presence in your journey. That is very empowering.
We live in a world where we want instant results, and I am not different in wanting things to happen fast or to look into the future to see if things will get better. I sometimes live in the past because it is secure there, but does it really get you or me anywhere? The answer is no. It was important this first week to understand that trusting the process, that I can’t figure out all my problems in one week, was vital for me to understand myself. At the best of times, I can be impatient with my life. I wanted above all else this first week to trust the life coaching process because four months can be life-changing.
I knew that my biggest obstacles were that my motivations were intrinsically based, that I struggled with the weight of self-doubt about my professional writing future and that I was not grieving. I was living in two places, almost exclusively in the past and the future. It was becoming my narrative, and I didn’t even know that it was happening. I had to learn that living in the present and letting go of things I can’t control would be challenging. I was ready for the challenge.
My first week was encouraging. I had so many questions, and my life does not happen in a vacuum. The module homework Kim gave me helped me shape my first week. I realized my engagement styles and how I kept staying in my current engagement style, which would look like me continuing to go down a very negative path, which allowed my doubts to control me. My path will be letting fo of the money side of my writing control me. When things are not going my way, my default is to overthink and overanalyze the event in real-time. It is counterproductive in living in the moment, that change is inventible, and letting go is so much easier. I hold on to things because I have this need for control, especially with my past.
I want to end this post with something that stuck with me throughout the last week since beginning this journey. Something that Kim challenged me on. Being mindful throughout my day and being present, allowing me to catch my thoughts. I am not obligated to engage in all the things around me. I learned that I had to understand that if I wanted to be always looking for the next big thing or project that would get me to the next goal, it would continue to affect me negatively. I have become so goal-oriented to the extreme. I know that I need goals in my life, but I can’t always live looking at the future but forget the present me. That is not always easy to do. I need to let go of the past. Conscious awareness is so important. I am my own person inside and out.
If you are looking for your own journey into lifestyle coaching that envokes change in your life, if you are stuck under a mental illness diagnosis and want relief from someone who has experience in the core of what causes suicide, please reach out to Kim Johnson, @ Groundsforclarity@gmail.com. You can find her at www.groundsforclarity.com
They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day.
I journal off and on over the last ten years. At times it is to clear my mind after a long depression cycle and to get my thoughts down during those times. At times I use journaling to come up with ideas for fiction and creative nonfiction work.
It is the area where my doubts to bleed on the page of my journal is when it comes to my writing. I am a published author with a memoir that is selling okay. There are other projects that I am working on to be published in 2020. There is a real fear that my writing will never go anywhere.
I know these doubts are just lingering because I have so much going when it comes to writing. I have the ghostwriting business that I am taking to the next level, and I am starting an LLC. I am launching my brand, The Bipolar Writer. Ive created new things for my tiers on my Patreon account, including merchandise with my logo. I have projects galore, and I am nearing the end of my master’s. I consider myself a seasoned professional writer with fiction and creative nonfiction that will take me to the next level of writing. Everything is either about to be published, in editing, or a work in progress.
You would think I would not have time for doubt, but it is always late that they come when I am alone.
They say the monsters and demons tend to come out at night the most. That is true also with doubts. There is something about sitting in the dark on the doorstep of sleep that wakes up my brain, and so the last thoughts are of my doubts that I faced that day. There are times I have mini panic attacks.
I am a work in progress. I will always be adjusting as new things with being Bipolar, having social anxiety, and panic disorder change and the world changes. I have written about being alone recently and why I feel okay with that feeling. The doubts they tend to go to other places. Will I be alone forever? It is one that has haunted me.
It is not all bad. I am better equipped to handle these thoughts of doubts. I look at where I was when I began this journey. I was this 20 something who could not live, and wanted to die. Then I came back. Got one degree with another on the way. Graduated with honors as an undergraduate and heading that way as a graduate student. My life as a writer has improved. I am better at helping others and sharing my story. I have a future in my hand. You see, the doubts are just feelings of insecurity. Look at what you have accomplished and what you have in the future. No matter how small. To quote a friend, open doors and go through doors that are opened for you. This life is too short. Stay strong as always.
This is Vlogcast six. One of the major things I wanted to share revolves around what most artists, performers, people that are book authors, they share their personal experience and some of those completely shifted the way that they showed up in their life. And I know I mentioned in a former vlogcast that life is an experience, um, one of the things that popped up for me thinking about what I wanted to talk about or what what am I supposed to talk about is that that Paradigm I had so recently broken out of was that the world is designed to be fixed, it’s not there’s no fixing it’s impossible it’s not designed that way we’re all connected to each other everything that happens in the world is connected to each other nothing exists independent of another incident in the entire world.
So for us to believe that we can fix something is madness. Complete madness and that lesson, the series of lessons that would unravel happened after series of what some may view As A Series of Unfortunate Events: divorce. Not me but my parents.
The first divorce I experienced was 2008 and then two more divorces around 2012 ah, no it wasn’t 2012. I want to say about 2014 2014-2015 wow the years are really flying by I think my math is failing me here but about 4 for about 4 years ago is when my parents got divorced a second time and I choose those particular events again I shared in a vlogcast before I’m very perceptive to shifts and changes energetically, attitude-wise and behaviorally in my personal and closest relationships and those are with my family members and I found that the way for me at the time that worked was to really immerse into and lean into what’s happening,
Why what has brought this feeling up? So, instead of making it personal, about me, taking offense, getting mad, lashing out yes I still did those things but then after you know I’d I pause and I really opened my mind to experience saying that in a completely different way. I’m open to experiencing this and in a different way what, what kinds of things can I do and say and ask myself and really it was, how it must be for them experiencing this experience from their side, from, from their vantage point, from their life experience and trying to really get to the core message that came up for them that had nothing to do with me and nothing to do with them it just was something.
This something, I mean, I have the terminology now and it’s ego. So, how I responded when things didn’t go well, it was very stressful for me because I took it personally even though I took the steps to emotionally detach from the situation. Lots of tears shed, lots of frowns, lots of, um, abusing self care as a way to cope with not dealing with feelings or experiencing, really experiencing feelings and now when I interact with family, close kindred spirits, friends whatever word you want to use co-workers, it’s really not about taking things personal, we are put on this Earth, to experience one another, to experience with around us to tap into different levels of awareness so we can experience things in a completely different way.
Um, my experience with divorce is going to be different from someone else’s because we were at different levels of our awareness at different times and that’s really all it’s about it’s not about oh you’re handling the situation the wrong way, you should be doing this or that’s not healthy or this or that like I’ve heard it all. All the criticisms, all the judgments that could be happening that’s really a projection of the other people’s insecurities onto me about how I should be handling the situation, how what I’m doing is wrong.
It took a lot and heapfuls and heapfulls of moments for me to finally let my anger out and express how disgusted I was with constantly telling, being told and feeling like I could be doing something better or I could have changed my attitude there or I could have smiled more or I could have dealt with that in a healthier manner how about I just am. And if you have a problem with that, that’s probably your shit, not mine. Let’s repeat that again…how about it’s not me that has the problem, I have nothing broken about me and I don’t need to be fixed if you have a problem with how I’m navigating this experience that’s your shit not mine and we tend to, I experienced this too where I didn’t put that for lack of a better word boundary up to say no this is my experience, I’m going to experience it the way that feels right to me and I’m going to choose because there’s something here that’s reflecting something within myself that is meant to be experienced in a whole new way.
Nothing personal truly nothing personal at all. Had this conversation so many times with other people it’s nothing personal, truly that’s not a cop out, truly, is nothing personal. I am just another human being being human just like you and if I want to tap into and if I feel called to or drawn to or something about the situation is expressing this different level of awareness I’m going to go with it because why, because my intuition is guiding me in that direction. When I stopped trying to control the situation, when I stopped trying to micromanage feelings, when I stopped apologizing, when I stopped rationalizing and just let go of trying to be in control all the time, things got a lot less personal, really quick. But it took years of me bashing my head against the wall to finally get it: there are no right or wrong answers. At all! And to, obviously that’s going to be interpreted in a slew of different ways.
The point is, anytime we get triggered by something, anytime I got triggered by something let’s put this back on me, anytime I got triggered by something, anytime I get triggered by something I distance myself emotionally from that and I go, “Huh, that’s really interesting. Just because I feel a certain way it doesn’t mean I am that way. If I feel like an asshole, doesn’t mean I am an asshole. If I feel like I’m being a bitch, it doesn’t mean I am a bitch. If I feel like I’m being evasive, avoidant, if I feel like I’m backing out, it doesn’t mean that I’m weak. Just because I like doing multiple projects, just because I like having different sources of income, just because I like, it doesn’t mean that I’m this transcendent, sun shines out my ass, person. The only reason I bring this up is because these are observations that I make of myself and others bring to the table of me.
What is so…this is a lot easier said than done and it looks different for everyone, of putting your foot down, declaring that you’re not the world’s doormat anymore and being open to experiencing an experience, experiencing an A-N, experience in a whole new way. Because maybe you’re tired of experiencing life in this way and you want to experience it a different way. I think that’s amazing. That is awesome. You’re tired of feeling like shit, if you’re tired of pretending to be happy all the time or maybe you are happy all the time and you want to experience some deep, melancholic stories.
There are, there so many people on this planet, we could experience something without personally, physically, you know, like I said we’re all connected, experiencing it for ourself. Being open to receiving that maybe someone else’s experience is going to directly challenge yours and what you held to be true and what you held to believe was, was fact or what you held onto so strongly as a basis of making sense of who you are. I think most of us don’t know who we are and that’s okay. What’s so wrong with that.
I tell this to my Kindred Spirits all the time: you don’t owe me anything. I don’t expect anything of you. Makes no sense the way you were five minutes ago is not the way I anticipate you being the, in the next five minutes or for the way you were five years and you wake up and one day you decide that’s just not who you are, that’s fine. That’s phenomenal. And trying to make sense of everything, trying to put everything in its cubby-hole, trying to you know go slow to go fast, there are moments for that there, I mean there’s so many different turns of the phrases, words, phenomena, labels, titles, um, you can read piles and piles of books all day long, there’s so much information out there that teaches us how to experience things in different ways but instead of just going out there and experiencing it we’re literally just sitting and experiencing.
I inadvertently limited myself by falling into this, this trap that I have to make sense to everyone, that everything I do has to make sense to people I work with. Having to fulfill all these expectations of what people have of me and feeling obligated to respond, obligated to be in someone’s life, obligated, obligated. Expectation … *deep exhaled sigh* it’s enough to make someone’s head explode. I know that’s how I felt until recognizing that nothing belongs to me even though I feel a certain way doesn’t mean I am. And as an entity all my own… there’s no, there’s no connection– forced, expressed or implied with anyone or anything. It’s always a choice. That’s something when I get in an ego State of Mind– you know: victim, angry, rationalizing or putting others before myself –when I catch myself in those states of mind I go, “Okay, is it a choice? Is this where I want to be? Is this how I want to feel? And is it actually who I am?”
So just raising my awareness, asking myself those empowering questions of, yeah it kind of hurts and it kind of doesn’t have to hurt. It’s about experiencing and shifting our relationship with those negative feelings has been a journey. I just had a zoom call yesterday with our Community Mental Health folx and one of the things I talked about was toxic positivity. It’s when you are bombarded with information wherever you may be predominantly social media though, where you see everyone’s feed saturated with positive things– it’s not really representative of the whole– and it also subliminally can send this message of, “You’re not supposed to be negative, that’s not how, that, that’s not normal, you shouldn’t be…” But over time what I experienced anyway from that toxic positivity was a denial and a suppression, avoidance of anything negative.. so that whole, “I’m fine.” It’s gonna come come bite you in the ass eventually. It sure bit me in the ass.
So, one of the things that I’m actively doing and constantly actively doing is just checking in with myself, you know, how to, what’s triggering and what’s coming up and recognizing that there’s advantages and disadvantages to every point of view the rationalizing part of it so just being candid, open and honest. That being human is something that we constantly will experience and it will not stop. The self-doubt, will not stop, the fear of what people will think of you will not stop, feeling not good enough will not stop having that message there will not stop but what can stop is letting it be in control. It doesn’t have to be in control.
Question: in what area of your life could your experience expand if you were to be more emotionally detached? So, in what area of your life could be experienced differently if you practiced detached involvement? In what area of your life could you experience things differently if you practiced more detached involvement? So, detached involvement just is basically experiencing everything in the moment and then taking yourself out of the story and really looking at it and it in an objective way That’s a tool that helps me all the time and I spend less time stumbling around on my face. I think that’s something all of us would like to experience a little bit more: just less self-doubt, less fear or less shrinking and less, uh. diminishing ourselves. Have a, you know make your morning your afternoon and evening whatever way you want it to be.”
Playing it small in life, holding ourselves back, hiding, downplaying our true selves, is unsustainable in the run. I tried it. It doesn’t feel spectacular and it permeates through every aspect of your life. Do you hear it in my voice? I was all over the place! So what?! Tell your story! 🙂 I believe in you.
This Kim Johnson, the Thought Founder of Grounds for Clarity. If you read my blog, you know I promote ideas that mean a great deal to me, and if I believe in something that could help me, I am willing to help a fellow sufferer. In this case, I want to help Kim, a Mental Health Skills Lifestyle Coach, fill her upcoming seminar this Saturday and Sunday.
This Kim Johnson, the Thought Founder of Grounds for Clarity. If you read my blog, you know I promote ideas that mean a great deal to me. If I believe in something that could help me and you, I am willing share it with a fellow sufferer like me.
Even as good as my life may seem at times we all feel the weight of the world. I have felt burnt out lately. In this case, I want to help Kim, a Mental Health Skills Lifestyle Coach, fill her upcoming seminar this Saturday and Sunday. I am participant because I believe in what Kim is doing.
“Right now if you are struggling with the whole world weighing on your shoulders? That you can never do things right. Or you feel like a failure?” -Kim.
I know I feel everything that Kim explains in the following video, please take a moment to watch this short video, and perhaps you will reach out to Kim as I did. Watch this seven-minute video.
There are very few times when someone comes into your life and guides you to change. Kim has a spirit that wants to help those who right now are struggling. This week, Kim has helped me open up about my recent struggles with feeling burnt out in this life, and this upcoming Master Your Mind: Immersive, Anonymous Digital Retreat is the perfect opportunity for you to reach out to Kim @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join Kim and me (myself as a part of the group) in this seminar. She is ready to work with you, and there are still slots open.
“Most of your class is smarter than you.” “No one wants to be your friend.” “Of course you didn’t win.”
Throughout my childhood, I taught myself to have no self pride. At all. Despite being decently intelligent and skilled; I could never accept a compliment. If I didn’t win the very best at a contest, the voices inside told me why. If I happened to do well; they reminded me of how many other people were better, or of how there weren’t many competitors.
I’d love to say things have gotten better, but they haven’t.
“Look, see: that person says she likes that person, but doesn’t even look at you when you’re walking by.” “There you go, dummy; forgetting everything again.” “Well, who would want to be your friend?”
I could blame the internet, exposing me and millions of others TO millions of others. But if I’m being honest, my negative self would be able to beat me up even without bringing the rest of the world into the comparisons.
When I’ve addressed this problem with self-meditation, self-medication (usually chocolate), and the occasional session with a therapist; I …can’t actually address it. I’m so good at not being good to me that I jump right in to sabotage any sort of progress.
Me: “Well, when someone compliments me, I feel like they probably don’t know the whole picture.”
Also Me: Justifying “I’m not that good at cooking/writing/being a friend/etc. That person is just really nice. She tells the off-key 8-year-olds at church that they sang beautifully.”
I’m so good at not being good that I claim my conclusions are LOGICAL. I bring outside evidence to back the negativity up, disguise rudeness as truth, and name-calling as accurate titles.
And I don’t see this as wrong.
If I had a friend (See? If I had a friend? -so mean!) -anyway- If I had a friend whose boyfriend were saying that crap to her, I’d immediately tell her it was abusive behavior. If someone at school were telling these things to my son, I’d advise him to stand up for himself and even talk to his teacher about it. If I were reading a book or watching a movie and heard the things that play in my head all day; I would recognize the character as a petty, selfish bully.
Living with me all day every day, however, I do not. As you may have guessed, I tell myself that negativity is exactly what I deserve.
…Which makes breaking out of the cycle of abuse that much more difficult. And yes, it is a cycle of abuse.
As such, the actually LOGICAL steps to getting out would be to follow professional advice for leaving an abuser. The internet may be providing fodder for my inaccurate comparisons, but it also has a lot of information to help save me from them. In fact, there is even a wikiHow on breaking an abusive cycle.
Since we’re dealing with an internal abuser, I’ve taken their list and modified it:
I can’t exactly leave my own head, but see that my substance abuse and attempts to disassociate are a lot like telling an abusive spouse I’m leaving, but not actually packing bags and arranging for another place to live.
I feel that I don’t know where to go or what to pack yet, but maybe I can start asking around and collecting a few moving boxes.
Don’t dismiss, justify, or accept the abuse.
Frankly, I need to stop agreeing with the Meany-Head in my head. I can probably, sort-of, start talking back to it like a stubborn 3-year-old. According to professionals, that’s healthier than allowing it.
Look out for the honeymoon phase.
I didn’t think self-abuse had this, but it does. I have days or even weeks of letting up on myself. I smile without reminding myself that poor children in Africa have little to smile about. I accept a compliment and don’t downplay it.
Don’t fall for that break in abuse!!
I can’t let my guard down and assume everything’s better if there is little or no meanness.
When I went on a successful diet one time, I mentally associated sugars and refined flour with fat gain. Those two became repulsive to me and I had no appetite to eat them.
Similarly, I’ve got to put a no-acceptance-at-all mental block on the negative talk. Like Susan said in her article, I’ve got to respond right away with positivity.
Unearth your superpower.
The wikiHow articles says, “One reason individuals stay in abusive relationships is because they feel powerless and unable to act.” Boy, is that ever true. I feel overwhelmed at the idea of finding strength within myself.
BUT, there are times that I am motivated to act -no matter how depressed or beaten-down I feel. Those times include: if someone I love is in danger, if injustice is raising its ugly head, and when things pile up so much that I simply cannot tolerate any more.
If I can find strength even in the darkest despair, I can fight this abuse.
Go get help.
I think this is my favorite of the steps, because I often suffer from Analysis Paralysis. I don’t know the ‘right’ direction to go, so stand and stare at the different options until I get frustrated and give up.
With a counselor, therapist, psychologist, trained friend, or even a small reminder to literally choose to be positive; I can get GPS instructions for which way to start walking.
So, what am I waiting for? Honestly, I’m waiting for it to be easier. I’m waiting for the ‘right’ motivation. I’m probably waiting for the chocolate to kick in.
But I have a list. I have a goal. I want to Keep Fighting instead of keep bending over backwards and feeling worthless.
*This post is a combination of processing and asking for input from my fellow bloggers and readers.*
Today my boss came up to me asking if we could have a chat. My heart sank a little bit thinking I was in trouble but I wasn’t. She brought up how I project my work to others, how I often times don’t give myself any credit.
This came up because yesterday we had to introduce ourselves during a meeting and I identified myself as my supervisor’s right-hand woman instead of my title. I often don’t say my title, which is the Development and Program Marketing Specialist, I usually say I do communications or that I help my supervisor.
I’m not good at talking about myself or making myself sound important. I think it’s a combination of years of low self-esteem, the idea that nobody cares what I have to say and not thinking I am important. So when somebody asks what I do, I brush it off saying, “I do our Facebook” then drop it.
In reality I do a lot more than schedule Facebook posts.
My boss said she wants me to be confident in my position, work and skills. She told me I am more than my supervisor’s right-hand woman, that I am my own independent, functioning person.
I was not expecting that conversation at all.
In all honesty, I don’t feel important at work. I think that anybody could do my job so, to me, what I write, create and do isn’t special. I felt that at my last job too, I compared my writing to my fellow reporters too often.
I come for 40 hours a week and do what I’m told. I recently had to do two marketing campaigns, one for a day camp and the other for volunteer training. I gave no ideas for anything, I asked my superiors what they wanted and I did just that.
Damn, this is turning into an entire in depth self evaluation that I was not expecting to have today.
The moment our conversation ended I thought, “I need to see my therapist.”
What about you guys? Do you have trouble talking about yourself or do you have confidence in doing that? How does your self-esteem effect your work?
As a writer self-doubt is probably the largest mountain to climb. Displaying your inner thoughts for all to read takes a risk that can feel like bungee jumping. You hold your breath and pray the giant rubber band snaps you back to earth. However, the rush is amazing, and the rewards when your words make a connection are boundless. It just takes a strong stomach and belief in yourself to climb the mountain that can stand in your way.
Writing has always come easy to me. It didn’t matter what I was writing, letters, essays, term papers, speeches, they all came naturally, and I knew it, and loved it, I took pride in it, but understanding it and sticking to it has been the area in which I struggled.
My inspiration would come in bursts, and the energy I would feel when I would listen to the voice that flowed through me when I composed poetry, stories or just journal entries was a force I could not explain. Unfortunately, just as compelling the force was to write, as was the ability to walk away when that same inspiration would fade into the night from disappointment, confusion and frustration. As a writer, the written word in my style and my personality is incredibly satisfying, it’s therapy, my center and the place that allows me to be the person I am here to be. It’s extremely personal to create something from that part of yourself that no one else but you can see. It’s also intensely personal when those creations are not appreciated by the outside world, even if that rejection is in your own mind.
To be creative, for me, meant no boundaries and no background noise as a distraction, meaning no real work behind the scenes of what I was creating. This is a beautiful idea unless you wanted to write for a living, or at least get your words out there for everyone or anyone to read and fall in love. This was where my trouble would begin. Truly understanding what to write and how to get that writing to a reader was like stumbling around blind in a maze of wonder, every time I thought I found my way, I would hit another wall. I knew I had this natural ability, but I felt I was forcing my hand in one way or another. I would dip my foot in fiction, poetry, short stories, my own story, you name it, but when it was a cold reception, I ran. I would be convinced the world was against me and that if only they would listen, they would be amazed. I was arrogant and impatient, and in my mind, I felt my effort was enough, but maybe I wasn’t, and the words vanished. As protection from the pain, I would stifle my voice and quit.
It took life to bring me to realize that all those worries of rejection and ideas of self-doubt were my own, in my mind only, and not the truth of reality. The reality was I didn’t research, and I didn’t open my heart and my mind to the support and the love I was receiving. I was closed off to the endless possibilities if only I gave myself a chance. It took a shift in perception to open my eyes to see the path that lay in front of me, accept the true gift this life had given me, and show me that honoring that gift was how I wanted to live.
The moment I realized that the boundaries I despised for my own creative mind, I had built within myself was the moment I changed my thinking and the reason why I was writing. I started to listen to the voice I had silenced, the voice that whispered to me in the quiet moments telling me I was here for a purpose, a purpose that only I could define, and I did, I was a writer. All the times before I ignored it, and pretended not to hear because it was easier, it took less effort and less courage, and not to mention the chance of being scorched by the icy reception became slim to none.
When I changed my thinking, believed in the writer I was, I changed my why, and when I changed my why, everything changed. I was no longer writing for the likes, or to be liked, or for money or fame, I was writing to share my voice with others, to inspire them to believe in their truth and to honor their gift while I honored mine. The words are there, they are part of who you are. When you listen to that voice within, connect with your why and believe in your purpose, they flow like a river. Listen to that voice, honor your gift and write for who you are and how you want to live.
**I originally wrote this for an audience of writers, but the message is the same…don’t stifle your voice because of fear, listen to it and honor your gift by sharing it with the world🧡