When I changed the name of my blog to spring into summer, it was because I felt I had (at last) come through the winter of despair after the collapse of my marriage. My mood had become more upbeat and optimistic looking forward to a new and exciting life ahead, just as the season spring heralds the warm and carefree days of summer to follow. I feel this is a phase of preparation for me and instead of transforming my life from we to me, which was my previous focus, I am finding my voice in preparation for speaking my truth.
What does this mean?
Finding my voice is finding my inner calling and passion, and the ‘why’ or purpose for that passion. Speaking my truth is having the courage to make that voice of mine heard. This post is my first post about finding my voice. As it is a journey of discovery, this is simply the beginning and there will be other posts as I get closer to locating it.
Finding my voice
Ideally a true calling or passion would reflect my inner being that holds my true feelings, needs, values, thoughts and beliefs. My first step therefore is to connect with that inner part of me. That true side of me – my voice – has over many years, and in particular over the last few years, been hidden underneath an overlay of other voices. These have been the voices of my parents, society, religion, friends, my husband, my children and my own ‘I-need-to-be-perfect’ expectations of myself that need not have been so unrealistic. It is somewhat sad – and yet is the truth – that for so long my true voice has been stifled, drowned out by louder voices pounding away, repeating the same rhetoric over and over. Much of that rhetoric has stuck in my head as the truth when it has not necessarily been the truth. Sometimes those other voices have been so repetitive, so loud, and so persuasive that I have had difficulty hearing my own voice, let alone recognize it as mine.
That has now changed.
I have now found quiet.
And in the quiet, since I have been free of the marital settlement, since I have been organizing my life, since I have become an adult orphan, since I have been reflecting on my life with no pressure to do anything or be anywhere or become anyone in particular; I have been having flashbacks to certain events in the past. Now, rather than suppressing my true feelings, for the good of my family, out of care for my husband, out of respect for my mother, out of duty to society; I am allowing myself to feel my own feelings and I am recognizing those feelings as my own. Feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, humiliation, shame, anxiety, happiness, exhilaration, pride, contentment or whatever feeling I was truly experiencing at the time of those flash-back events. Rather than accepting things should have been done a certain way, I am seeing things from my perspective. I am questioning things. I am hearing my own voice. At times my deep needs have gone unchecked or my values were violated or my beliefs crushed or my ambitions curtailed in the name of being the good wife, the dutiful daughter, the loyal friend or the respected law-abiding citizen.
I am now seeing things from my perspective, rather than from the needs of my husband or children. I am understanding the profound effect the sudden early death of my father had on me, rather than seeing it from my mother’s situation. I am remembering times when I did or did not do things that I felt were right or wrong.
I am allowing myself to feel my own feelings.
I am looking underneath those feelings at the violated value or the unmet need or the sense of loss or the crushed (or lifted) pride that is triggering those feelings.
I am thinking of ways I may restore my unmet needs, and self-esteem; and ways I may live by my values and beliefs.
I am planning ways I may transfer my voice onto a pathway of living a richer life for myself and – by ‘speaking my truth‘ – helping others find their own voice.
This is my journey …
Powerful post Elizabeth. It is inspiring to hear your progress to your true self.
Thank you for your friendship and support.
Awesome! Your words speak for so many of us on this same journey! This is me too!
I feel uplifted that my words touched you in some way.
And what an amazing journey it is! Woo Hoo! Elizabeth!!!!
Yes, quite a journey!
Congratulations for moving to the next part of the journey. This will be so rewarding. I continue to stay true to my voice after re-discovering what was hidden behind walls and facades. Embrace it all.
It amazing that I did not even know the walls were there until they were broken down. It is truly liberating that they are now gone. thanks for your encouragement
I’m impressed with the depth and honesty of your inner exploration! Only great things can come of knowing what moves us! Love it!
Sometimes it is hard to admit to the darker bits, yet it is the only way to find the light. Thanks for your encouragement.
I love the journey you are on Elizabeth. You have accepted where you have come, been free to make your own choices and are now starting the next chapter of self discovery …. so exciting!!
Ah, Yes! The next chapter. Here I come.
Finding quiet and speaking your truth are flip sides of a very rare and valuable coin, Elizabeth. The heartfelt honest of you journey is a gift to all of us. Thank you, and many blessings as you continue your journey.
They do seem opposites (being quiet and speaking) yet it seems (for me at least) the first is required for the second. Thank you for saying the relating of my journey is a gift to you. That made my day.
Elizabeth, I understand where you’re coming from, or at least I believe I do. So many women – married, divorced or widowed – often struggle with this, having lived for years not realizing their own voice and their own truth as a distinctly separate and individual one. I’m enjoying the progress you’re making on this worthwhile journey.
yes, it is gradual the disentangling of the bonds.
I enjoyed reading this post. It’s wonderful to hear how you are moving forward. You are making an important journey.
Thank you for your note of appreciation. I am truly grateful.
Oh my goodness. An aha moment for me in this one. “Adult orphan” is so apropos. When you’ve lost your parents and you then lose your spouse, that is exactly how it feels if you’re not dead center in your own life. I have been working on flipping the paradigm. Not adult orphan. Individual who owns herself but is supported by much love. It’s a work in progress:). Can’t wait to hear more about yours.
I had not heard of the term ‘adult orphan’ until the day of my mother’s funeral and then TWO people used it. It definitely is a feeling, of being alone with no-one who has known me my whole life. I understand you in trying to flip it into becoming a strong ‘individual’. Interestingly a couple of my married friends are now becoming envious of me (being able to do my own thing). Now THAT is a turnaround.
It is good you are an introvert in some respects, since you are taking time to be contemplative and analyze where you have bern (metaphorically) and where you are going. I jump or spring into things with confidence but later realize there may have been other options and ways to have come out unbruised. You are making the best decisions in your life, since ultimately they are for you, Elizabeth. We all may watch and “learn.” Take care! ♡
I have has long work hours that usually end when Fall begins. Often I have considered quitting as my energy is sapped. Turning 60 doesn’t help, it makes me want to leave physical labor and want to go work at a daycare. After hundreds of applications to teach, (since 2008) I am giving up that hope, for sure! At least you have some “fruits” of your labours. 🙂
yes, I am indeed an introvert and analyze things (TOO much sometimes, I think!) The current decsions are tough but I am gradually making them and that is making me feel stronger. I know what you mean about the ‘labor’. I am quite tired now and loathe to think of going back to work. However, I will need to do that. I am just having a year off first to catch my breath. Hopefully I will only have to work part-time and I can try something different. I admire you for what you have done and where you are at in your life. Take care.
Thank you for your friendship.
Thank you for your friendship and never seeming perturbed with my candid opinions, Elizabeth. I press “post comment” sometimes with some trepidation.
I wonder if I may have needed to give a softer reply. We are friends who trust each other’s honesty (candor) to keep us closer. ♡ If you celebrate, hope you have a wonderful Christmas and the best new year ever in 2016! 🙂
yes, I do trust your honesty and a grateful for your comments – always.
Thank you, I had a wonderful time with me family. I hope that you had a joyous time with yours. All the best for a fantastic 2016. 🙂