I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat at my desk with the intent to write to you, but instead walked away with dangling participles and unfinished paragraphs left behind.
I could make excuses, but over time I’ve come to understand that many excuses are just little white lies we tell others (and ourselves) to relieve some guilt and absolve us from veering away from our right path. So here is the raw truth: often, my column was abandoned due to the duet of voices in my head chanting, “That’s not good enough to be from the Editor in Chief of this magazine,” and “Who do you think you are?” So there are dozens of pieces of unfinished prose inhabiting the circuits of my computer.
Damn, those voices are mean. Aren’t they?
As a coach, I’m a pro at helping others to understand that those voices are not the truth and that it’s ok to grab a little courage and forge ahead. But I am also human, and sometimes I forget my training and the lessons I’ve learned, and believe that there must be a shred of truth within the words of the voices.
I want to always be honest with you that I am in the midst of doing my own work.
I am living the kind of life that, to be honest, I thought was fantasy and couldn’t be my reality. But it is. Every morning I wake next to a man I adore and do work that sets my soul on fire. For me to pretend that I have it together 100% of the time would be a sham. I’ve made huge leaps forward but that doesn’t mean I’m perfect. In fact, I regularly do battle with my own personal demons. This is why it’s so important for me to regularly work with another coach to help me when I get tangled.
Since my time in Europe, I’ve begun to make significant progress as a writer again. In addition to the weekly deliverables of a blog post for my coaching site and a weekly newsletter, I’m writing vignettes, character sketches, instructional manuals, detailed plans and in-depth lessons for clearing all kinds of clutter (both physical and brain).
I’m so busy writing that when the voices begin to speak up, it’s easier to quiet and ignore them because I have a body of work under my belt. The more you write, the more you will write. The more you write, the stronger your writing voice becomes. The more you write, the easier it is to work with ghosts and demons and use them as a part of your story instead of an excuse to stop.
The hard truth is that you can’t be a writer if you don’t write.
About a year ago, I told you about the healing of my writer’s soul. I bring up that particular column because I want you to know that healing is something that takes place in stages. Sometimes the scar tissue is so thick and dense that getting through it becomes so incredibly painful that we want to quit. As one wound to your soul or psyche begins to heal, another wound can re-open.
I tell you this because when it happens to you, I want you to understand that it’s part of the process. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t meant to move forward. It just means that you are evolving and growing and reaching.
In recent months, I’ve come to really understand that some pieces of you may never heal. It isn’t that you are flawed. What your soul is telling you is that you aren’t meant to forget every painful part of your past. Instead, you are learning to integrate who you were and where you’ve been with who you are now and where you are going.
Sometimes, integration is so much more healing than you imagined it could be.
I’m all about embracing who I am today and making peace with who I have been. I was brought up in a culture of Southern Gentility. Though I am a child of the 70′s, my parents were older than my peers and grew up during the depression. I grew up wearing slips, panty hose, and the occasional girdle. I grew up with cultured manners and under the belief that women did their housework and kept their mouths shut (at least in public). At 44, I’m coming to grips with the fact that I will always be part Southern Belle, albeit a bit of a Tarnished Southern Belle. And instead of fighting that, I’m embracing it for everything that it is and who it’s made me today – the mix of cultured and flirtatious, disciplined and playful.
My soul is healing and integrating and ever growing.
And as for you… I believe that you are a wondrous and beautiful soul. I believe that you can find healing in creating – whether it’s as a writer or an artist. And for those pieces of you that seem as if they will never heal? Give yourself permission to integrate those pieces of the past with who you are.
For that combination of healing and integration is what will truly make your soul sing. And feel as if you are whole.