“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?…you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.” –Stephen King
Do you ever feel things bubbling up so fast from your heart that you don’t have the time to write them all down or figure them all out. The universe is coming at me with messages and sign posts fast and furious. I’m cupping my hands to my chest, trying to catch them all before they scatter to the ground and get lost in the destritus of my every day.
I have spent so much of my life afraid; of not being perfect, of not being nice enough, of being found out for not being perfect, of being too fat, of being too ugly, of not being lovable, of being not good enough as if anyone’s opinion of me mattered any more than my opinion of myself. This irrational list of fears gets altogether too much playtime in my head; a vicious dog-chase-tail cycle that keeps me from being my true self, keeps me from creating.
Sometimes I get brave. Sometimes I have courage to speak my heart. And nearly every time I do, the gifts that flourish from that exchange are always remarkable. This has been reinforced for me multiple times over the last couple of weeks and I thank the Universe for showing me these things and reminding me that living with my whole heart is not only necessary, but is indeed safe. I have no reason to fear because fear is not keeping me safe, it’s keeping me from being my self.
I suppose this doesn’t exactly relate to what King is saying, but writing has never been a point A to point B thing for me. When I used to write poetry more prolifically there was never a time when I could successfully sit down and write a poem about a particular thing. I would try; the first few poems tumbling out in a tangle of nouns and verbs that had no cadence and even less meaning. But then I would let go, I would stop trying, and the words that followed danced themselves out onto the page exactly the way they needed to. The most remarkable part of the process was, and still is, that the poems that felt the best were those that I needed to write. They always spoke to things I didn’t know were under the surface, aching to get out.
As I move forward, I’m taking the messages that are being sent to me and lovingly placing them like bandages on the wounded parts of my self. In order to continue this process of healing and recovering my self, of honoring who I am and growing as a writer, I need to keep taking these risks. Risks like going to conferences, writing dangerously, sharing stories with kindred spirits, and talking about things that are hard and scary and real. With those risks, I practice opening my heart and when my heart is open only then can I receive the gifts that the Universe has waiting for me.