Finding our truth, honoring our voice

Six months ago, I took what for me was a bold step and decided to take part in a women’s circle, considering the state of my finances it felt not only luxurious but silly. Yet the past six months have been a whirlwind, being in the company of other women, many grappling with similar issues has encouraged me to look deep into my being and not fear the truth.

I won’t lie, the process has been rocky and downright scary at times yet I feel like I have emerged from this process with a new lease on life. That said, I know that many of the decisions and truths that I have given voice to, will not always make others comfortable. The funny thing about being an adult is at a certain point you have to walk your path, not someone else’s. Some of these truths I cannot even share outside a few select folks at least at this time, yet knowing that I have given voice to them and acknowledged them makes it alright for me.

It’s hard to walk away from the expectations of others but if those expectations do not bring us comfort, we must forge our own new path. Don’t fear change my friends.

Being an adult and speaking up

It’s barely 10 am and frankly I am ready to rewind and start this day anew. Too bad life doesn’t come with a rewind button. This is one of those posts where I wonder if it would be better suited for my journal since in many ways I am just dumping all my shit out there…yet I know I am not the only one who struggles with these issues and often when I feel this way, I find comfort in sharing. I come from a culture where too many times the personal is hidden yet I don’t think its ever truly hidden instead it manifests in other areas of our lives generally affecting our health through anxiety, tension, stress and other habits that have a negative impact.

I come from a family where speaking one’s truth and expressing themselves was met with disapproval and when I was a child it was met with physical punishment. As a result I learned early on to shut up and never speak my truth because the punishment was not worth the cost of my truth. As I have shared here before at age 19, I was introduced to the not so wonderful world of anxiety attacks. I believe there is only so much our minds and souls can handle before we become overloaded, in 19 years of dealing with anxiety it’s only been in the past year I have realized that when I am silent I become anxious.

It may sound as if I learned a lesson yet it was my own son who is now 19 that illustrated to me the dangers of keeping it all in. See, my beautiful boy is prone to anxiety just like me, it started a while ago and if he is not cautious like me he keeps himself bottled up and then deals with the vague anxious feelings. I sometimes think that the fact he was forced to live between two parents in many ways has played a role in his own anxiety, in the past year I have encouraged him to be true to himself no matter if it hurts or upsets either me or his father. It’s a process and I believe he will get there as far as his own truth and voice and speaking up.

Yet I was reminded today of the price that can be paid for speaking up, as readers know my father is currently living with us while he decides his next steps in life which now may or may not involve settling down in Maine. I may gripe and complain but overall having my father here has been tolerable and seeing the bonds develop between him and my daughter has been great. But the reality is anytime you have someone else in your space it creates a different energy that all parties need to be aware of.

For me that energy is centered on the issue of sleep, I suffer from insomnia and I have a spouse who snores. Throw in a dad who suffers from old guy syndrome of waking up early (3-4am) and you get someone whose sleep has been sorely lacking lately. To be honest I feel like the walking dead, and with major deadlines this is not a good thing. Without getting into many details, let’s just say I brought the issue up with my dad and the result was not good. He took my speaking up as a sign I did not want him here and it was messy and knowing my dad a grudge will be held.

I am hurt, I am very hurt yet as I went into my space to focus on breathing through it, I was reminded that I can’t control the actions of others but only my response to those actions. Playing back the exchange while I may not have been as calm as I could have been (not too much asleep on my end) I realized that ultimately if he chooses to leave despite my actions, there is nothing I can do. Yet at the end of the day, I spoke my truth and tried to be gentle.

I have written before on the value of speaking our own truths and once again was reminded that no matter what the cost it’s a necessity. It cost too much to walk around with anxious feelings bottled up and as a mother I must be aware of what I model for my kids.